This is a community announcement from Alternative Federal Credit Union. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit news releases, email

ITHACA, N.Y. — Sustainable and collaborative efforts are required to support our communities during these challenging times. The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to present a wide variety of unanticipated, stressful, and otherwise challenging and discriminating circumstances for the people, programs, businesses, families, organizations, and neighbors we support. Organizations, businesses, nonprofits, and other concerned partners committed to social and economic justice are collaborating to make real impacts for those in distress.

In keeping with our social justice mission and steadfast commitment to economic empowerment for the communities we serve, the Board of Directors of Alternatives Federal Credit Union (AFCU) approved a historic, $1.4 million 0% interest rate, repayable, “Alternatives Federal Credit Union Community Assistance Loan Fund,” at its regular meeting last Thursday evening. These funds will be made available to those individuals, businesses, organizations, and nonprofits who have suffered a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are open to both current members and non-members of the credit union. Alternatives Federal Credit Union is an Equal Credit Opportunity lender and encourages applications by women, people of color, and WBE and MWBE business enterprises, among others.

“The Board’s support enabled our credit union to commit $1.4 million to a 0% interest rate, repayable loan fund with no payments due for three months,” said Kevin Mietlicki, Chief Financial Officer at AFCU. “Those who need help with basic living essentials such as rent, food, medications, utilities, and more—are encouraged to apply,” Mietlicki added.

“Traditionally, we’ve charged interest rates on these types of loans. But these unprecedented times call for unprecedented approaches to helping our communities in our entire service area receive the financial support they deserve. We are especially thankful to the Community Foundation of Tompkins County and two anonymous partners for helping us make this loan program possible,” said Chris Cain, Chief Experience Officer at Alternatives Federal Credit Union.

Consumer lending (personal loans for individuals) is capped at $3,000 maximum (per person) and business lending (including lending for organizations and nonprofits) is capped at $8,000 maximum per applicant.  Applications will be reviewed by the financial counseling, business development, and all lending teams at AFCU on a rolling basis.

The consumer loan window (for personal loans) opens Wed. May 6, 2020 at 12 noon. Interested applicants should email:

The business loan window (for businesses, organizations, and nonprofits) opens Mon. May 11, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. It will close on Wed. May 13th at 5 p.m.

Interested businesses, organizations, and nonprofits should link here: and click on: “Alternatives Federal Credit Union Community Assistance Loan Fund.”  Download the PDF application and return it with any supporting documentation to:

For questions about qualifications, applications, and process, please contact: Kathleen Clark, Director of Business Development at

This article was submitted on behalf of a person or organization in Tompkins County. The Ithaca Voice posts community announcements to provide readers with information directly from local businesses and...