Montrose Business Times
Most likely haven’t heard the term CDFI.
NuVista Credit Union, however, takes pride in being a Community Development Financial Institution because that means it is poised to help build communities and give ownership to its members.
In all of Colorado, there are only five credit unions which are also CDFIs.
NuVista Credit Union is the only CDFI credit union on the Western Slope.
A CDFI is essentially a special designation given to financial institutions like banks, hedge funds and credit unions.
CDFIs can apply for certain grants, and when they’re awarded those grants, they can use them to benefit their members or to benefit their communities as a whole.
Being a credit union means NuVista is a not-for-profit financial institution.
Any money they make goes back to helping communities and its members.
How it started
NuVista Credit Union began as a financial institutions where federal employees could do their banking.
It was created in the 1960s and was intended to serve a specific population.
Many of its members are middle and low-income members who can benefit from the grant dollars that the credit union is awarded as a CDFI.
It earned its CDFI certification in 2019 and has already begun to see benefits.
In 2021, the institution was awarded a $1.8 million rapid response COVID grant.
And just recently they were awarded a $3.7 million through the equitable recovery program.
Those dollars will be spent in parts of Delta County, Montrose County and parts of Gunnison County.
“When we first applied for it, we decided we were going to use it to help with affordable housing,” said Sara Plumhoff, who was hired to manage and apply for grants.
“We decided we would give grants to organizations or peopel for affordable housing or we would do lending for individuals to help them purchase housing.”
After they were awarded the grants, they discovered they could use them for more than just affordable housing.
They can use them to help with lending rates or closing costs on housing for its members also.
In total, NuVista serves 7,000 members in Delta, Gunnison, San Miguel, Montrose and Ouray counties.
They care about serving the community and helping members in the form of providing loans and banking to achieve goals.
Justin Tubbs is the Montrose Business Times editor. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 970-765-0915 or mobile at 254-246-2260.