By Elaine Robertson
First published on 2017, December 7, Latest Issue

In 2018, we will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Antigonish Movement, a social & economic movement that empowered our ancestors to take control of their own financial well-being which changed the course of history for our community.  A lot has changed in our communities in the last 100 years,  but the intention of the Credit Union remains the same: To provide community-based financial services with a commitment to the financial well-being of its members & community.

The Credit Union is a cooperative business. This means that it is 100% owned & controlled by its members – the truest form of ‘locally owned’! By investing in the Credit Union, members are investing in their community, their friends and their neighbors. One member’s retirement savings is funding another young family’s first home right here in Antigonish.  The Credit Union is not about profiting from its members, it’s about profiting for them. Profits earned are used to enhance and stimulate the local economy in the form of real community investments like sponsorships, donations & scholarships. Every decision at the Credit Union has the members and the community’s best interest top of mind.  Even something as simple as casual day is impacting the community – Staff donate $2/week to wear jeans, and at the end of the year this money is donated to families in need during the Holiday season.

East Coast Credit Union & its members truly believe that supporting local will lead to a prosperous economy,  which is why they take pride in investing in local small businesses (many of which are members, too!).  East Coast Credit Union partners in unique small business programs such as the Provincial Loan Guarantee Program and Michelin Development Fund that focuses on growing and developing start-up and existing small business to stimulate job creation and economic sustainability in Nova Scotia.

Programs like these showcase that while the Credit Union offers the traditional products & services as the other banks, why they do it is different.  It’s about enhancing the local economy to develop a prosperous community. Credit Union members & staff work every day to show how ECCU cares about our community with new product development, community support and random acts of kindness. This was evidenced in our recent #EastCoatCUCares campaign where staff at all ECCU branch locations shared random acts of kindness in their communities throughout September & October. Staff in Antigonish & St Andrew’s branches were spreading random acts of caring in Antigonish Town & County which included hitting the streets with envelopes filled with gift cards purchased from local small businesses; sponsoring & playing bingo for the residents at the RK MacDonald Nursing home; and baking cookies to give to our senior members during pension week, among many other activities.  We had a budget to carry out these activities but staff were having so much fun sharing kindness that they took it upon themselves to raise even more money through weekly 50/50 draws and raised an additional $450 to carry out even more kindness!!

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