Linda Bow, director of compliance at the New York Credit Union Association, recently attended a two-day CDFI forum for financial cooperatives in Puerto Rico.
Bow was one of the four speakers who discussed how the success of a Community Development Financial Institution is determined by its business model. She noted how competitive CDFIs serving low-to-moderate income populations and communities can provide additional outreach and financing options to individuals and may perform financially better than their counterparts that serve more affluent communities.
A strong showing of more than 70 participants from different credit unions in the region were in attendance for the two-day forum.
Bow, representing the Association, attended to provide updates on the relief grants the New York Credit Union Foundation–in conjunction with the National Credit Union Foundation and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions–facilitated to help credit unions in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the island. In total, more than $500,000 in relief grants were provided Puerto Rico’s credit unions, their employees and their volunteers.
The session offered best practice success stories from CDFI-certified credit unions and underscored how this certification has played an important role in the financial health of members in their communities.
The forum also covered a solar financing discussion where representatives from financial institutions in the U.S. discussed their solar investment portfolios.
There were also workshops that focused on the CDFI certification application, eligibility requirements and understanding of the evaluation process.
Bow said her trip to Puerto Rico was memorable and made her proud to represent the Association.
“I was really encouraged that so many credit unions and credit union professionals were interested in finding out more information about CDFIs and how the certification can enhance and facilitate community outreach,” said Bow.