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The business of supporting communities through locally-made decisions

In this episode of Business Matters, presented by Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, host Rob Cupello is joined by Paulo Araujo, the president of Valley First, to discuss how the credit union’s strong community values guide every decision they make.

Having operated in Thompson-Okanagan for 74 years, it makes sense that locally-made decisions are a big part of the Valley First brand. Paulo has a deep appreciation for the way decisions are made within the organization—he especially loves that, even as the president, he gets to be involved at every level.

“I have the opportunity to help with decisions[...]everyday, from approving a loan to supporting a community,” he says.

Paulo’s hands-on approach is made possible by the fact that Valley First is a community-based credit union, meaning that important decisions are actually made right here in the Okanagan—no phone calls to another time zone for approval. What’s more is that those who do their banking with Valley First aren’t just clients, but members with the right to vote on important matters that impact the way the credit union operates.

Given that its members play an important role that goes beyond the business-client relationship, Valley First makes enriching and caring for the communities they live in a high priority. “We believe that if communities are strong, businesses are strong too,” says Paulo.

That’s why they consistently fundraise through campaigns like Feed the Valley and give to nonprofits and charities like Activate Penticton and the YMCA Okanagan.

Watch the video below to learn more about Valley First’s community initiatives and the benefits of becoming a member of a strong, locally operated credit union.

You can also listen to this episode on our Business Matters podcast. Click below!

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