The Santa Cruz Community Credit Union (SCCCU) is a nonprofit financial cooperative that promotes economic justice. STCR is democratically owned and controlled by its members. SCCCU's highest priority is to meet the needs of low-income people through the development of microenterprises, small businessess, worker-controlled businesses, nonprofits and organizations improving the quality of life in the community.
STCR offers many banking services as well as lending programs.
Small Business Lending Program has been committed to creating economic opportunity by providing business loans to local small and microenterprise businesses. SCCCU provides small business loans for as little as $500 and up to several million. SCCCU offers a large spectrum of loan products, from microloans for new businesses, to larger loans for established and growing businesses. SCCCU finances a variety of businesses including retail, agriculture, child care, construction, manufacturing, and nonprofits. The
Child Care Revolving Loan Program offers child care loans to qualified borrowers at an interest rate as low as 3%. Loans are from $1,000 to $15,000 for terms up to sixty months.
The Individual Development Account (IDA) is an outstanding asset building tool for qualifying individuals of very low-income. Each dollar saved for a specific goal (first-time home purchase, continuing education or job training, small business capitalization) is matched by two dollars by STCR. The unusually high savings limit ($15,000, the total of the participants' savings plus the matching funds) is enough to make a serious, long-term impact in the quality of life of the participant.
Investments by individuals, as well as institutions such as Calvert Foundation, provide the lending capital.
SCCCU serves more than 9,500 members throughout the Santa Cruz and north Monterey counties of California. 65% of STCR's clients reside in semi-urban communities and 35% live in rural communities. Fifty-four percent of all borrowers are women. In addition, 60% are Caucasian, 32% are Latino, 4% are African-American, 3% are Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 1% are Native American. Also, SCCCU places a special priority on meeting the needs of its low-income members, as 85% of clients live in households with an income at or below 80% of area median income.
Since 1977, SCCCU has provided millions of dollars in loans to support local, small businesses. They have developed loan products and business services to meet the diverse needs of every business. SCCCU is nationally recognized for their lending programs for women- and minority-owned businesses and to low-income entrepreneurs. SCCCU also proudly supports environmentally sustainable businesses and the arts through their lending. In 2004, SCCCU won United Way's first place Family Friendly Award for its family friendly policies.
When Ricardo decided to start his own computer company, his wife Maria was skeptical. “I couldn’t believe that we could make a living as business owners,” says Maria. Their RV’s Computers quickly carved out a niche in the market and outgrew their location. Despite their success, Ricardo and Maria were denied a loan at another financial institution. “When we went to the Community Credit Union the difference was amazing. We were treated well and got our loan quickly. We have almost paid off that loan and hope to get another to expand our services and add more staff,” says Ricardo. Full Story