Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, has developed some inventive programs to help its 534,886 member-owners and its communities get through the COVID-19 crisis—together.
Vancity Loan Payment Deferral Program
The values-based financial cooperative headquartered in Vancouver has set up a loan payment deferral program specifically for members facing financial difficulties caused by the pandemic.
The program offers interest only payments and even a deferral of loan payments for up to six months.
You can learn more about the program here.
Vancity's Unity Term Deposit™
Vancity is also offering ways for members to help each other, while helping themselves. They have set up the Unity Term Deposit™ program, which takes savings invested by members and turns them into loans that will directly support people and businesses who are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those who invest in the program get an annual interest rate of 3%, while giving their communities a social return. The minimum investment is just $25, which means almost anyone can help fellow members sustain themselves and their businesses through these difficult times.
Learn more about the Vancity Unity Term Deposit™ here.
Community Response Fund
Vancity has also joined forces with several other groups in British Columbia to develop a Community Response Fund to rapidly deploy essential relief to those who provide frontline services to people and organizations that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and its economic consequences.
“We’re in this together as the coronavirus pandemic affects all of us,” says Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO of Vancity. “By coming together, we can ensure that our communities can support our most vulnerable, and this Fund will do exactly that.”
Vancity committed more than $1 million to the fund, with three other organizations providing contributions to push the total amount to over $3 million.
The first phase of grant recommendations will prioritize community-based organizations who are addressing:
- Immediate needs of low-income populations caused by COVID-19 related closures, including access to food, hygiene, housing and other basic needs.
- The economic impact of reduced and lost work within the non-profit sector.
- The information needs of vulnerable community members to promote resiliency and mitigate fear and confusion.
- Mobilizing citizens to assist their vulnerable neighbors with the challenges they are facing from isolation.
You can learn more about the Community Response Fund here.