City of Sarasota, credit union partner to provide residents with access to financial services

Reliable Ride program to help residents ‘secure reliable transportation’

Logo from the Manatee Community Federal Credit Union website

The City of Sarasota, in partnership with nonprofit financial institution Manatee Community Federal Credit Union, has begun offering a variety of financial services and programs that will benefit city residents who are unbanked, under-banked and underserved, the city has announced.

Through the Reliable Ride program, “residents will have an opportunity to open an account with the credit union and take advantage of low-interest vehicle loans” to secure reliable transportation, a news release explains. Clients also will receive financial education and assistance in becoming financially stable, the release adds.

“This program is a key piece of the City’s strategic goal of expanding financial services within the north Sarasota community,” said Economic Development General Manager Steve Stancel. “Through Reliable Rideand other services, we’ll be able to help low-income and credit-challenged individuals get on a path toward financial freedom and achieving their goals.”

Further, credit union clients will be able to apply for business startup loans through participation in Community Entrepreneur Opportunity (CEO) courses offered by the city and CareerSource Suncoast, the release points out. They also will have access “to a host of free banking services and transactions available online and via smartphones,” at more than 90 ATMs throughout the city and in person at the First Street Credit Union, which is located at 1558 First St., and during weekly office hours and regular workshops at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, located at 1845 34th St., the release adds.

“Manatee Community Federal Credit Union has been certified by the U.S. Treasury to provide specialized credit and financial services to underserved areas, the release says. “It has been serving Manatee County since 1958,” the release notes, and it recently expanded its charter to serve residents of Sarasota.

“Manatee Community is thrilled to partner with the City of Sarasota in offering its residents access to low-cost financial services combined with innovative credit building products and strategies,” said Manatee Community Federal Credit Union CEO/President Sherod Halliburton in the release. “I am impressed with the city’s willingness to take an active role in improving its residents’ financial lives.”