Linda Bow, director of compliance at the New York Credit Union Association, recently attended a two-day CDFI conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Over 130 participants and nearly 60 financial cooperatives were represented at the event, which was hosted by Inclusiv, formerly known as the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.
The conference kicked off with sessions on the CDFI application process and strengthening small businesses and communities through credit union efforts. Attendees learned that since its inception in 1996, the CDFI Fund has awarded almost $300 million to credit unions across the nation.
The event featured a session on how to apply for technical and financial assistance awards through the CDFI Program, including panelists who shared their successful experiences as applicants for the program in securing CDFI grant funding.
The conference also featured sessions on connecting with the Puerto Rican diaspora. More than 200,000 Puerto Ricans have left the island and settled in communities along the East Coast, with another half million that could leave over the next few years, according to presenters.
Bow’s compliance session discussed this year’s supervisory priorities for exams, forbearance and collection issues with mortgages, loan participations, the Bank Secrecy Act, anti-money laundering and more.
“There was such a great focus on community strength and resiliency for the credit unions in Puerto Rico,” said Bow. “It was a pleasure to be included in the two-day workshop; this is always a rewarding event to attend and be able to participate in.”