125 North Fulton St. Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-4611
Toll Free: (877) 273-AFCU      Contact

Socially Responsible Business

What does it mean to be a socially responsible business? The Credit Union has been exploring this idea since we began operations in 1979. We have sought to demonstrate social responsibility ourselves, and hope through education to inspire other businesses and organizations to examine social responsibility. Business organizations operate in a context that is much broader than just their immediate marketplace. Their activities have social, economic and political consequences whose impact may be felt on a local, national or even international scale. Even small, local businesses have a large social impact collectively. Stakeholders - customers, suppliers, employees, the local community; in fact everyone who comes into contact with a business - have the right to demand accountability. Dimensions of social responsibility encompass:

* How the business uses human resources.
* The extent of community involvement.
* The environmental impact of the business.
* An analysis of the product or service the business produces.

To be socially responsible, a business must have a clear, rational definition of social purpose, a system of setting priorities based on their social implications, and a structured, integrated approach to financial and social action. Implicit in social responsibility is a new definition of success for small business. For more information on social audits and socially responsible business practices, please contact the Credit Union.

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Chris Setlock

In the spring of 2014, we learned that our minivan needed repairs in excess of it's value. We'd already been cutting back on our auto use, and were trying to walk and bike more. We'd been talking with friends and reading about cargo bikes as a car alternative. Around the same time, a new business, "Boxy Bikes" opened in Ithaca, which specializes in electric and cargo bikes. We found a model we were interested in, and approached alternatives seeking financing. Alternatives set us up with a signature loan, and a "green loan" discount on our rate. Thanks to Alternatives, we are now the happy owners of a "Yuba Mundo" Electric Cargo bike. We can get anywhere we need to go, using no gas, and creating no emissions. I can carry two passengers, or a weeks worth of groceries. The loan will be paid off in two years, and the bike could last for many more, at a fraction of the cost of an automobile.


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