May 1, 2020
Many states have started their journey to reopen their economies. While there is much debate, each governor must find the balance between the needs of their state and the safety of its residents. Without question, the next few weeks will be watched closely, and we will pay attention to the number of new COVID-19 cases. The United States now has 1.07 million confirmed cases (up 26 percent over last week) and 63,000 deaths (up 34 percent over last week). With such high numbers, Air Academy Federal Credit Union continues to take steps to keep our staff and members safe.
Unemployment levels continue to be top of mind for everybody as an additional 3.8 million people filed for unemployment last week. Over 30 million people in the US have applied for unemployment benefits in the last six weeks and economists predict many more will file in the coming weeks. The current unemployment rate is over 20 percent nationwide and expected to peak around 30 percent. At the same time, as states start opening, many people will be welcomed back to work and hopefully unemployment decreases. We will continue to support our membership as we endure the headwinds. Here in Colorado Springs, the unemployment rate is approximately 13 percent and expected to increase in the coming weeks. Working together, we will get through this.
Over the past few weeks, our staff has adjusted to a new way of operating in the branches and from home. Out of an abundance of caution, we plan to keep our support staff working from home in the near future and will keep our branches open to serve you. We will follow appropriate guidelines to ensure your safety and our safety.
The government continues to provide stimulus funds to help small businesses. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) went through the first round of $350 billion in about two weeks and the second round of $310 billion is nearly exhausted. We have participated in the second round and have helped a few members get approved for the program. We believe more PPP funding will happen.
Looking forward, we will stay focused on our membership and how to best serve our communities. We anticipate the government will continue additional rounds of stimulus funds in different ways. We expect funds to be given to states and local governments as they become stressed from lower tax revenue, additional funds allocated for unemployment, funds for essential industries, and some possibility of more individual stimulus. Our job is to stay abreast of all developments and make long-term decisions for the benefit of our members.
We know there are a lot of headwinds in the future and our conservative operating model will serve us well. Air Academy Federal Credit Union is safe, sound, and ready to help. We’re in this together and we care about you. Please reach out to us if you are experiencing financial difficulty with your accounts or loans at AAFCU.
Beginning April 15, 2020, the federal government will begin issuing Economic Impact Payments (EIP) directly to U.S. citizens to provide financial relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Important: The IRS will not contact you for banking or personal information to receive payment. Only trust information about EIPs on www.irs.gov.