Updated: Jul 15
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Community First Guam Federal Credit Union recently received a $10 million secondary capital investment from the U.S. Department of the Treasury as part of the federal Emergency Capital Investment Program or ECIP.
The ECIP, established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, was created to encourage community financial institutions to support small businesses and low-to-moderate-income households in their communities.
“Because this investment counts as capital, we are able to increase our lending capacity to businesses and families at a time when pocketbooks are being squeezed by rising costs,” said Gerard Cruz, president and CEO of Community First.
Under the program, the U.S. Treasury will provide up to $9 billion in capital directly to depository institutions that are certified Community Development Financial Institutions or minority depository institutions to, among other things, provide loans, grants and forbearance for small businesses, minority-owned businesses, and consumers, especially in low-income and underserved communities that may be disproportionately impacted by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Treasury set aside $2 billion for covered financial institutions with less than $500 million in assets and an additional $2 billion for Community Development Financial Institutions or minority depository institutions with less than $2 billion in assets.
“This is why our credit union exists,” said Perry Taitano, board chairman. “Our core market are members of our community. We are here to contribute to their success.”
Cruz said Community First has raised secondary capital from both the public and private markets in the past. “A strong capital base opens up new growth opportunities for the company and keeps our depositors assured that their deposits are safe," he added.