Financial capital can be defined as the “resources available to invest in community capacity building, to underwrite business development, to support civic and social entrepreneurship, and to accumulate wealth for future community development” (Green and Haines, 2016). Burlington is a small city that is committed to having a healthy and growing economy. Diverse entrepreneurs throughout the city are supported by our community members who buy locally.
“Community Development Credit Unions are credit unions that have a geographic or associational bond in areas where most members have low incomes” (Green and Haines, 2016). One example of a relevant community based organization is Opportunities Credit Union. Opportunities Credit Union is Vermont’s only Community Development Credit Union. Founded in 1989, Opportunities Credit Union services the financial needs of people with modest incomes and assets. Opportunities Credit Union serves the Old North End of Burlington and Winooski. Primarily, they provide innovative and affordable loan and deposit programs. These programs are frequently used for credit building and repair, business and home ownership, consumer needs, as well as energy improvements. According to their 2015 Annual Report, Opportunities Credit Union gave “17,329 auto and other consumer loans, 2,486 affordable home mortgage loans, 1,377 home and energy improvement loans, 964 small and micro business loans” (Opportunities Credit Union, 2016). Additionally, Opportunities Credit Union collaborates with hundreds of partners, community investors and foundations. The Infinity Dance Studio is one example of a local business that opened in 2010 with the help of a loan provided from Opportunities Credit Union.
“2015 Annual Report.” Opportunities Credit Union. (2016). Retrieved November 17, 2016, from https://www.oppsvt.org/annual-report/
Green, G. P., & Haines, A. (2012). Asset Building & Community Development. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.