Industrial Credit Union awarded $1.5 million federal grant

Industrial Credit Union, headquartered in Bellingham, was recently awarded $1.5 million through the U.S. Department of Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

The funding is a part of a nationwide round of awards totaling $142.3 million for 155 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) serving struggling communities in states across the country. ICU was one of 25 credit unions to receive part of that funding.

ICU will use the grant to create a business lending department to assist local businesses with lending needs and spur job creation.

“Industrial Credit Union is taking the holistic approach to building financial strength for its members and community by leveraging these funds to establish a small business and microenterprise loan program,” Terri Salstrom, ICU president and CEO, said in a press release. “The objective is to deploy $21 million in loans over a 2.5 year period to support small businesses, which we project has the potential to create 1,500 jobs in Whatcom County. We expect the program to be fully operational by early 2012.”

Industrial Credit Union was recognized with this award in a historic funding round representing the largest single round of monetary awards in the CDIF Fund’s history. The Department of Treasury established the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund in 1994 to provide credit, capital and financial services to underserved populations.

Industrial Credit Union, founded in 1941, is a not-for-profit cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by more than 22,000 members. Anyone who lives or works in the state of Washington is eligible for membership. With $135 million in assets, ICU has four branches in Bellingham, plus locations in Lynden, Ferndale and Nugents Corner. For more information, call (360) 734-2043 or visit

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