STCU President/CEO Ezra Eckhardt

Strictly speaking, halibut cakes, carne asada, and salted caramel cupcakes are not necessities of life.

Yet, one of the lessons from COVID-19 is that local businesses like Hay J’s Bistro, Mexico Lindo Taqueria, and Sweet Frostings are essential. They’re where we connect, console, and celebrate. They’re a paycheck for staff, a lifelong investment for owners.

To the community, they’re vital. Not casting any shade on the chains, but these home-grown restaurants are what makes this place Spokane. Boise doesn’t have Chkn-N-Mo. Portland doesn’t have the Grain Shed. You can’t get a Davenport Signature Brunch in Seattle, or a Neato Burrito in Missoula.

Of course, those who provide our books, hammers and art are every bit as important as those who help us break bread. They’ll be featured in upcoming “Back to Business” publications.

STCUIt’s no secret that many businesses are hurting. At STCU, we processed more than 1,000 paycheck protection loans when the Small Business Administration offered them at the start of the pandemic. And we made it possible for other, smaller credit unions to provide the same assistance for their business members, as well.

Now, we’re looking beyond recovery. It’s our hope that over the coming months, “Back to Business” inspires you to view our local enterprises as community assets, worthy of your support now, and for the long haul.

That means more than placing an order and tipping generously. It means showing appreciation and a bit of grace to those who work on the frontlines, and to the owners who put their livelihoods on the line every day.

After all, they’re our neighbors.

– Ezra Eckhardt
STCU President/CEO

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