“Financial institutions think we have to do it all on our own, but partnerships like this strengthen us both.” – Heather Luciani, CEO, Marshall Community Credit Union
Northern Initiatives has partnered with Marshall Community Credit Union to offer our first line of credit to a loan customer. We plan to expand the program statewide in 2022.
Funding for the pilot project came from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The goal is to help the customer establish a relationship with a local financial institution by building financial systems, discipline, and a credit history. The program’s first customer has a $10,000 line of credit to help purchase inventory for a new store. The customer also received a standard Northern Initiatives loan to support startup expenses.
“A line of credit is a great tool for some small businesses,” said Kellie Hoffman, Northern Initiatives’ commercial lender based in Battle Creek. “It can help them learn how to manage inventory, how not to oversell, keep them afloat during lean months, how to create the formulas needed, and it helps with cash flow.”
Heather Luciani, CEO of MCCU, said the first line of credit process was “smooth sailing” and her team is excited to do more. “It helps us fulfill our mission to help underserved communities, which is what the credit union industry was formed to serve,” she said. Plus, the partnership “complements Northern Initiatives’ niche to help a business completely.”
“Financial institutions think we have to do it all on our own, but partnerships like this strengthen us both,” Luciani said.
And even though MCCU gained a new member, Luciani stresses it is not about the bottom line. “If we can support one small business, that helps them grow. They hire, expand and serve their community.”
Northern Initiatives is a Community Development Financial Institution with a mission to provide loans and business services to small business owners and entrepreneurs who create jobs and enable their communities.
Marshall Community Credit Union is a federally insured full-service financial institution with offices located in Marshall, Battle Creek and Coldwater. For more information on products, services or membership, please contact 269.781.9885 or visit marshallcommunitycu.com.