3 Hallmarks of Credit Union Resilience


Just like people, businesses struggle during times of uncertainty. And after the year of uncertainty we just had, those credit unions that are looking to find success in 2021 are working on increasing resilience.

“Today, 80% of the work is centralized. It comes in a more traditional command and control structure,” Joe Perfetti, innovation fellow with Duke CE and RH Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park lecturer noted. “As we become more agile organizations, the unit of work going forward is going to be the team.” So what are the hallmarks of credit union resilience?

Perfetti says the three things a resilient credit union needs are realistic optimism, agency, and hope.

Realistic Optimism

Realistic optimism is all about setting realistic, attainable goals for your credit union.

The face-to-face aspect of your credit union’s business will likely never go back to the way it was. The COVID-19 pandemic still affects the daily operations of most businesses. And even if it didn’t, out of both necessity and convenience, credit union members of all ages are learning to embrace and even prefer contactless and online operations.

This means your 2021 goals will have to take these new preferences into account.


Realistic optimism and agency go hand in hand.

Many people all over the world have experienced great losses in agency this year – they lost jobs, houses, savings, and even loved ones. So giving your employees and members some of that agency back in 2021 should be a top priority.

Fostering agency and realistic optimism means giving your employees the tools and opportunities to work on problem-solving. Whether this means creating a space, either physical or digital, where employees can voice concerns and questions, and then offer possible solutions.

Team-building exercises and peer-to-peer discussion groups can help you, the credit union owner or manager, see the day-to-day struggles your employees are facing. And many times, these groups can come up with a workable solution much faster than you can.

A note on agency for your credit union members: the online solutions that have been implemented at credit unions across the country last year are also giving your members their own sense of agency. They may not be able to control how many paychecks they got last year, but they can now choose from a variety of easily accessible digital solutions to stay safe and increase their financial stability and education in the coming year.


Hope is the third hallmark of credit union resilience. As the vaccines are rolled out and credit union management choose to invest in upgraded solutions that make jobs easier and less stressful, this atmosphere of hope not only boosts workplace morale, but it also leads to better customer service.

Credit unions are unique beacons of hope for their communities in ways that big banks are not, because your credit union’s success is directly tied into the success your community has as well.

Spreading hope in the workplace is as easy as creating a recognition board, where employees and members can shout out exemplary behavior and customer service. Other ways include promoting and supporting charitable opportunities that are meaningful to your staff members.

When your credit union and its employees have hope for the future, it creates resilience.

Digital Solutions for Credit Union Resilience

IMS offers an array of digital solutions that help take care of the things you and your staff need, so you can focus on the big picture.

IMS’s Private Cloud Services Include:

Browse these and other offerings here on our website or contact us today!

Credit Unions: An Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon

IMS Solutions Credit Union Experts

When considering starting a small business, many entrepreneurs head straight for the big banks. Whether it is out of habit, advice from others, or a general lack of research into options, far too often credit unions are overlooked. Through social media efforts, newsletters, email marketing, word of mouth and community outreach, credit unions are poised to take a big chunk of the small business pie.

After all, in 2017 alone, more than a half million individuals became business owners. Is your CU following suit? Today we will look at the benefits of Credit Unions for upstart businesses and entrepreneurs.

Promote Your CU: If you aren’t putting forth the effort to attract this growing market, you need to start! Have a look at how other credit unions are doing it right, and implement your strategy to bring the budding business owners through your doors!

How Are Credit Union Attracting Entrepreneurs?

Promising entrepreneurs might find no more significant financial support than local credit unions. Following the financial crisis, many business owners were denied funding despite years of being loyal to their banks. Since then, credit unions stepped in to offer support where banks would not. However, the recent economic meltdown shined a spotlight on the significant difference between credit unions and banks, highlighting what credit union members have known for decades: credit unions designed their structure with members in mind.

Promote Your CU: Work with your local small business administration chapter or Chamber of Commerce, to connect to those actively seeking to start a small business.

Credit Unions Offer Entrepreneurs Unwavering Support

A report published by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions stated that credit union business loans had grown 59 percent since
2008. On the other hand, big banks experienced a sharp decrease in lending funds to small business by 18 percent. When small establishments suffered hard times, many banks overreacted at the possibility of default and stopped lending.

Business owners lost credit lines through their banks and turned to credit unions for help. With the doors of large banks closing in the faces of small business owners, credit unions propped their doors wide open. With a new generation full of entrepreneurial spirit emerging, credit unions need to once again reach out to those who are looking for options in the area of small business funding.

Fundera has an excellent article for entrepreneurs sharing the top eight credit unions for small business owners in 2019, and they are:IMS We KNOW Credit Unions
  • America First Credit Union
  • Alliant Credit Union
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • First Tech Federal Credit Union
  • Self-Help Credit Union
  • Consumers Credit Union
  • Digital Federal Credit Union
  • Boeing Employees Credit Union

Promote Your CU: Let entrepreneurs know about their specific loan options, credit card options for the business, and other offerings designed for the small business owner. If they don’t know you offer these things, they won’t come to your location. So take your location to them! Attend SBA meetings, Chamber of Commerce meetings, Town Hall meetings, Meetups for Entrepreneurs, or any other event that small business owners tend to congregate.

Credit Unions Help Entrepreneurs Think Bigger

Credit unions are now a prime source of funding for small businesses — according to Entrepreneur Magazine, the average loan size granted by credit unions for business purposes is $212,000. More so, lending is just one of many ways credit union helps entrepreneurs bring their dreams to reality.

In addition to loans and programs designed for entrepreneurs, credit unions are, by a larger scale, more nurturing of entrepreneurs. Due to their nonprofit status, credit unions return income to members in the form of competitive interest rates and lower fees. Also, credit unions are member-owned, with sensitive positions filled by election, decisions come from within, and increased focus is on personal banking relationships.

Promote Your CU: Use real stories of members who got their businesses off the ground with the help of your credit union. While a video is best, any type of “story” that can connect with someone wanting to start a new business is great. As your members to share why they are glad they used a credit union for their small business needs.

Credit Unions Offer Tailored Financial Advice To Members

Do you need help with your money issues but weren’t sure who to discuss the problems? An honest conversation with your local credit union financial consultants can help you come up with tailored solutions. Through various Programs, credit unions across the United States have come together to provide you with the much- needed know-how and work with you to come up with a game-plan to handle
your financial challenges.

Promote Your CU: Hold an Entrepreneurs Open House, with employees on-hand who can sit down one-on-one to answer specific questions. Provide the opportunity for guests to register online ahead of time, or encourage pop-ins.

Credit Unions Can  Jumpstart Your Small Business

While credit union memberships are open to specific groups, there isn’t a difficulty finding a credit union that will match with just about any member. In the United States, many institutions require that you live, work or study in the country to register with them. A simple search with the credit union research tool will get you moving in the right direction.

Whether you want to gain more knowledge about credit scores or how to increase your chances of getting approved for a loan, your local credit union employee can help you with insights on how to build a stable financial future. The bank is an obvious choice when you want to secure financial aid for your dream, but credit unions have consistently proven they have genuinely invested in the success of entrepreneurs. If you’ve got the next great idea that can positively influence the business world, look out for local credit union around you. We’re waiting to support you on the road to success.

Promote Your CU: Be consistent in your efforts and messaging, and remain “in front” of the entrepreneurs in your community. With so much to offer, it is important to share all of the benefits that are specific to entrepreneurs and small business owners.

IMS Credit Union Experts

IMS | We KNOW Credit Unions! How can we help yours?