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October 23, 2017

10/4/2017 12:40:00 PM
Musings -- on the editor's mind
Ken Stern

When I returned to Cincinnati from La Conner in March, having decided to buy the Weekly News, the first thing I did was call the commercial loan department of my credit union. With a loan, the paper would buy the paper, about two thirds of it, over time.
My introduction “I have been a member of this credit union for over 20 years. I am buying a weekly newspaper in Washington state. Will the credit union consider my loan application?”
Scott’s reply: “Yours would be our first loan in Washington. We primarily make loans on property purchases. But, because of your long-term membership, we will consider it.”
For the next three months, every time I communicated with Scott, whether by phone or email, as I submitted first my application and then my business plan, Scott repeated the line: “Because if your long-time membership … “
October is International Coop Month. I have waited till now to share this story and my punchline: Chase or Key or any large bank would never cite a 20-year relationship as reason for providing a loan half way across the country. None would make the loan.
Two days after I submitted my business plan, Scott called. He had discussed my application with the CEO and, because of my long-term membership, they were approving the loan. (Of course, it was a good business plan, too).
And that is why I am a big supporter of co-ops. The reason they exist is to help their members, the owners of their business, and therefore the communities they are a part of, succeed.
We can create structures in our community to support ourselves and assist each other grow successes in our everyday lives well into an ongoing future.
That is what co-ops do.

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