Bank assists federal workers
Alpine sets aside $13 million for no-interest loans
Alpine Bank is offering interest-free loans to furloughed federal workers in amounts equal to their most recent paychecks.
The Glenwood Springs-based bank is allocating $13 million to the effort. Alpine Bank offered similar loans during the last government shutdown in 1995.
“The idea is, borrow the money, and pay it back when you get back to work,” said Mike Burns, regional president for Alpine Bank in Durango.
The bank kicked off the program Friday, Oct. 4.
It was unclear if any other local businesses were offering deals for furloughed government workers.
At least one business in Cortez, Let it Grow Coffee Roasters & Garden Café, was offering a special deal to everyone during the federal government shutdown: buy one meal and get a second at half off.
“This time of year the majority of our cafe business comes from visitors going to and from Mesa Verde. For this reason, among many others we are sad that the park is closed,” the cafe said in announcing its deal.
Media reports indicated small businesses in Washington, D.C., launched a variety of promotions, including one that charged members of Congress double.
Hyundai announced Friday that furloughed federal employees who own Hyundais would not have to pay their scheduled payments during the shutdown. The Korean automaker also offered furloughed employees wanting to buy a car in October a 90-day payment deferral.
Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have been furloughed since the government shutdown began at midnight Monday. They will earn no more pay until Congress ends the current impasse. Congress has voted to restore federal workers’ lost pay during the shutdown.
“It’s nice to be able to help people in their time of need,” Burns said.
There is no underwriting for the loans, so the application process is simple: present your most recent pay stub, along with a valid ID. “And we’ll take care of the rest,” Burns said.
Furloughed federal employees do not have to be Alpine customers to apply for the loans. Alpine Bank has two branches in Durango, at the Crossroads building, 1099 Main Ave.; and in Three Springs, 175 Mercado Street, Suite 119.
Alpine Bank credit-card customers can also delay their next credit-card payments, Burns said.
Southwest Colorado is home to employees of several federal agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Social Security Administration, FBI and others. The Postal Service operates outside the usual federal budget process and is not affected.
Alpine Bank came to Durango in 2005, and opened the Three Springs branch in 2008. The bank has 21 employees at its two Durango branches. The bank does not have a branch in Cortez.
The company system-wide boasts $2.4 billion in assets. It had $1.9 billion in deposits as of June 30, according to its most recent quarterly FDIC filing.
In La Plata County, Alpine Bank was sixth-largest with $95.7 million in deposits and 6.7 percent market share, according to the FDIC.