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Tropical Financial's plan to kick-start South Florida's retail recovery

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Tropical Financial Credit Union in Miramar, Fla., is giving all employees $500 gift cards to spend at local businesses to help with the recovery as the economy begins reopening.

Overall the $792 million-asset credit union plans to spend $85,000 on the initiative, in honor of its 85th anniversary, which was celebrated in March, Tropical said Wednesday. Employees are encouraged to post pictures of themselves on social media as they spend the gift cards to help promote the businesses.

Rich Helber, president and CEO of Tropical Financial

Some industries and companies have been hard hit during the pandemic as consumers have decreased their spending and officials across the U.S. closed non-essential businesses.

“As a home-grown business that has been in the community for 85 years, we wanted to do something special to support other local companies at a very critical time,” Rich Helber, Tropical Financial's president and CEO, said in a press release. “So, in collaborating with our board of directors, we felt the best way to accomplish that was by putting extra money in the hands of our employees. They get to buy something for themselves as a reward for their hard work, while helping out the greater good.”

The initiative is part of Tropical’s efforts to help its communities during the coronavirus pandemic. The credit union’s loan officers are working with borrowers on deferring payments, according to the press release. The institution is also offering interest-free loans, participating in the Paycheck Protection Program and working with charities.

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