When Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered all bars and restaurants to close their dine-in services, many people began to panic, wondering how restaurants would continue to stay afloat if they were forced to move to take-out only. Immediately after the closure, there was a sweeping show of support for local establishments. However, as the coronavirus situation worsened, that support began to dwindle. While some customers simply transitioned to ordering online or through food delivery apps, many have become fearful of getting food from anywhere other than their home.
Keeping the focus outside the credit union
Answering the call to support local eateries, ATL Credit Union CEO Robert Shane had an inspired idea: entice members to support the community with good food, a fun contest, and of course, money. From now until June 8th, any ATL member that orders food from a West Michigan restaurant and shares their experience on the credit union’s Facebook page will be entered to win $50 to cover their food costs, with up to $500 being given away each week.
Regarding the new program, Shane noted his desire for the credit union and its staff to look outside themselves and find ways to help the community. “When all this first began, I wondered how you, in times like this, don’t just focus on yourself. How do you not narrow your worldview down to the six people that operate the credit union? How do you keep pushing your world a little bit wider, making your influence a little bit bigger, and look outside yourself to help others? This program is our attempt to do that.”
How to get involved
To participate, members simply need to spend money at any restaurant or fast food chain in the area, fill out the reimbursement form (found on their website), and share it on the ATL Facebook page. The form can be submitted in any number of ways. It can be printed and filled out by hand, filled out online and saved, or (in one of the more creative ways) filled out on a laptop, photographed with a phone, and uploaded from there. Shane remarked that as long as the photo makes it to the Facebook page, it doesn’t matter the method, and he’s excited to see some of those more creative routes members use.
Shane continued on to say, “It’s honestly been very exciting to be part of a small credit union and to see people looking outside and beyond themselves, trying to find ways to help and reach out. It’s incredible to be a part of.”