AND Direct is a business development and investment firm that helps entrepreneurs transform ideas into companies and companies into economies. We do this by working closely with clients to craft market-driven business and financial plans that ensure success. We don’t just advise and finance, we are your partner, so your success is our success.
As part of AND Direct’s commitment to the community we serve, we are serving as one of the corporate sponsors of the proposed credit union named Greater Cleveland Cooperative Federal Credit Union (GCCFCU), and as such, would like to take the time to explain who and what we are supporting…and WHY!
Who is the Greater Cleveland Cooperative Federal Credit Union (GCCFCU)?
GCCFCU is the accounting and financing partner of a 7-sector “Cooperative Framework” designed to “To promote thrift among its members and create a source of credit to [its] Sponsors… for community and economic development and other provident and productive purposes.” Credit Unions are designed to give banking access to low to medium income persons and communities. The GCCFCU is specifically designed as the financier for a local ecosystem of businesses that employ, sustain and build the wealth of its members, so its main responsibility is to finance small businesses as a partner, as opposed to a mere creditor.
What We Are About?
GCCFCU is first and foremost, a COMMUNITY PARTNER. This means, that our lending decisions take into consideration the needs of the community expressed through its sponsor entities (NLEH, Inc.) as an “Advisory Board.” This deep integration with the community ensures that lending is needed, fair, directed, low cost and therefore less risky. The lessened risk will allow for less stringent underwriting, which expands the availability of funding, increasing scope and impact. Because we will be lending in several major industry sectors, we will maintain a diversified lending portfolio to reduce systemic risk and the individual businesses receiving loans will be strategically linked (based on supply-chain and contractual patronage) as a self-sustaining economic infrastructure to reduce credit/default risk.
The Project and Milestones
The sponsors (NLEH, Inc. and AND Direct, LLC) have already received a “preliminary Approval” from the National Credit Union Association for charter and has completed the business planning or feasibility assessment stage. At this point, we are fundraising to cover the costs of chartering and procuring a “brick and mortar” location in East Cleveland, Ohio. The costs of chartering the full service credit union, up onto opening day are $148,960 (cost break-down HERE). Once we have the initial cost raised, we can move on to procuring the deposit commitments from community members and other sponsors. After all of these funds are committed in writing, we will submit the completed application for the credit union charter.
Our sponsors and we are asking anyone that cares about community and economic development in low income communities, to help us build the cornerstone necessary for us to be self-sustaining. In order for us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, we first need boots!
For trade and managerial professionals who would like to volunteer (or be hired) to plan, organize and develop the credit union and its Advisory Board, please read the “Subscriber Job Description” document and then fill out the “Report Of Official And Agreement To Serve form.”