October 2, 2017 - PITTSFIELD - Greylock Federal Credit Union has announced it will be expanding community development programs with the help of $686,000 in grant funds from the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. The CDFI Fund awards grants of up to $2 million to help certified CDFIs sustain and expand their products and services to low income communities and disadvantaged businesses. Greylock was certified as a CDFI in 2015 by the U.S. Treasury Department.
“We are very excited to receive this grant to help us continue the efforts of our Community Development team,” said John L. Bissell, Greylock President & CEO. “The funds will supplement Greylock’s already substantial investment and allow us to provide an additional $11 million in loans to nearly 1,000 financially underserved residents of Berkshire County.”
“The vision of the CDFI Fund is an America in which all people and communities have access to the investment capital and financial services they need to prosper,” said Jodi Rathbun-Briggs, SVP, Chief Lending Officer at Greylock. “There is a strong parallel between the Fund’s vision and Greylock’s vision of ‘enabling our community to thrive.’ The CDFI grant will be a significant resource for our ongoing work improving our community and our members’ lives while enhancing partnerships with employers to expand workforce development and job opportunities.”
Greylock will use the CDFI grant funds to supplement its roll out of almost $8 million of “New Road” auto loans that help credit challenged borrowers avoid predatory car loans; $2 million in small business loans to create new jobs in Berkshire County; and $750,000 in Safety Net Loans, an alternative to expensive “Pay Day” loans. The grant funds will also help support Greylock’s community development initiatives by ensuring sufficient financial literacy coaches to meet the needs of the Credit Union’s membership and the community.
Greylock pursued the CDFI certification to expand services and address the needs of low to moderate income families in Berkshire County, where 20% of families with children under age 5 live in poverty. To receive this certification, Greylock demonstrated that its primary mission is promoting community development and providing development services in conjunction with their financing activities. One of the benefits of CDFI certification is access to financial grants from the CDFI Fund.