Member alert issued March 13, 2020

Coronavirus Information and Planning

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, many businesses, schools, and organizations are taking precautions to help protect the health and well-being of their employees, members, customers, and the community. Inner Lakes is also taking this situation very seriously. We monitor developments closely and continue to reinforce plans that will allow us to maintain operations even under strained circumstances.

What Inner Lakes Is Doing:

  1. Key staff are preparing the testing and implementation of working remotely. This will allow crucial operations to continue for our members should the need arise. These operations include the posting of daily transmissions, payroll deposits, payroll transfers, checks, electronic transmissions, debit card and credit card transactions, loan transfers, electronic bill payments, and online banking services.
  2. Inner Lakes has a full-service online transaction platform that handles many types of transactions. Also, our ATMs remain available for member use.
  3. We are reviewing our existing pandemic plan and will be prepared to enact further measures if the need arises. We will notify our members of anything further via our website, Facebook page, and through email.
  4. We are actively encouraging sick employees to stay home and seek medical attention.
  5. Employees who are well but have potentially sick family members at home are also being requested to stay at home.
  6. Credit union staff are being asked to limit travel, especially to areas where the outbreak of the virus are suspected.
  7. Staff are performing ongoing environmental cleaning. Surfaces are being disinfected on a regular basis.

What You Can Do:

  1. Make use of our free online remote services.
  2. Do not come into our offices if you are sick, or if you have a family member who is.
  3. Be patient and plan ahead. No one knows where this will end up. If your school, business, or organization shuts down for a certain amount of time, realize that this will increase demand for our services – and it would likely be during a time when we have more staff out as well.
  4. Beware of scams related to the Coronavirus: Coronavirus: Scammers follow the headlines

Additional Resources:

  1. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a site which provides detailed information for combatting the virus: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  2. Our share (deposit) insurance remains in effect. This is up to $250,000. Details on this can be found at: https://www.ncua.gov/files/press-releases-news/NCUAHowYourAcctInsured.pdf
  3. As always, contact Inner Lakes at creditun@innerlakesfcu.org or (716) 326-3858 with questions and concerns.
Member alert issued March 20, 2020

Coronavirus Information and Planning

This update is an effort to keep you informed about the steps we are taking during the Coronavirus pandemic. This update is meant to be an addendum to our original March 13, 2020 update.

Additional Steps We Are Taking

  1. Dunkirk Branch – Starting Monday, March 23rd our Dunkirk branch (338 Central Avenue) will have reduced hours, which will be 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Monday through Friday. This change is being implemented for our Dunkirk branch due to a need to consolidate staff. Again, this is the only change to our “front-line” operations at this time. Otherwise, we are ‘business as normal’. However, it is likely we will reassess and need to make further changes in the near future. During this time of dealing with the Coronavirus we are trying to serve our members as best we can, while keeping members and staff healthy and physically distanced.
  2. Annual Dinner Meeting – Due to restrictions on mass gatherings, our Annual Meeting and Dinner (originally scheduled for April 24th) has been postponed to a date to be determined this Fall. We apologize for any inconvenience. Refunds have been processed for any members that have already paid for this event.
  3. Signature Pads – We have recently removed the electronic signature pads from all of our teller stations. This has been done in an attempt to make over-the-counter transactions as low-touch as possible.
  4. Emergency Loans – We are offering an ‘emergency loan’ to any members who need it, specifically with an eye on those who are working less or not at all because of work slowdowns and stoppages related to the Coronavirus pandemic. This 12-month term loan has sharply reduced rates and relaxed underwriting guidelines. Apply online or contact a Loan Officer to get the process started. (Note: if you apply online, choose “Personal Loan” and then enter “Emergency” in the “Purpose of Loan” field.)
  5. Loan Skip-a-Payments – We have implemented a loan skip-a-payment option. Complete details will be on our website. You will be able to skip either your April or May loan payment. There will be no fee for doing this and it will include all loans except mortgages, student loans, and credit cards. (However, we have also directed our credit card processor to run a loan skip program as well. Be watching your credit card statement for that.)

Additional Steps You Can Take

  1. Please understand that more changes will most likely come. Many other area credit unions and banks have already shut-down or restricted their walk-in traffic. We have not gone that route yet, but it is a possibility.
  2. Do not come into our branches if you are sick, or have been in proximity to someone who is. Additionally, please limit your foot traffic into our branches as much as possible.
  3. Make use of our wide array of remote electronic services.

As always, please contact us with any further questions or concerns. Thank you.

Member alert issued March 25, 2020

Coronavirus Information and Planning

This update is an effort to keep you informed about the steps we are taking during the Coronavirus pandemic.

With the health and safety of our members and employees on our mind, Inner Lakes is temporarily adapting how we handle transactions. We understand that access to your account(s) is important and we will continue to provide the high-quality services you expect. All decisions made are an effort to be proactive and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, and in consensus with recommendations from state and national health officials. Experts believe that if we all temporarily limit close personal contact with those outside our households, everyone will benefit as this precautionary step will slow the spread of the virus.

Effective Monday, March 30, we will make the following changes, until further notice:

  • The Westfield lobby will remain open, but we are requesting that members reduce their foot traffic into our Westfield branch as much as possible.
  • The lobbies in Fredonia and Bemus Point will be closed, but the drive-thru lanes at those branches will remain open.
  • We will close the Dunkirk branch, in an effort to consolidate staff.
  • We will close at 5:00 pm on Fridays, instead of 6:00 pm.
  • We will end our Saturday hours to consolidate staff, and to reduce contact. This also recognizes that the majority of our members have adequate time to perform banking needs during the week.

Furthermore, in an effort to reduce contact and interaction among staff and members, we will have two rotating teams of staff that each work one full week at a time. This split-staff plan means you might see different staff from week-to-week than you are accustomed to.

If you need to perform a transaction that isn’t available at the drive-thru or online, our teams will be available by appointment only.

Other Ways to access your accounts: While our branches may have limited accessibility, we understand that access to your account(s) is critical. We encourage you to use the following: online banking, mobile banking, telephone teller, branch drive-thru lanes, ATM networks, remote check deposit, online bill pay, and apply and sign online for loans.

Other ways to stay safe during this time: Phishing scams are on the rise with the coronavirus. Remember, phishing emails are often designed to look like they are from a legitimate source, but they contain malicious links. Please take care to review your emails carefully before you click on a link and never open attachments from unknown sources.

Phone scammers are also using the coronavirus to try to steal personal information from people during this vulnerable time. This includes scammers calling from numbers that appear to be from Inner Lakes. Remember, never give out personal information over the phone. If someone claims to be from a reputable organization, hang up the call, go to the organization’s website, and get their phone number and call them yourself.

With so many scams circulating during this pandemic it is more important than ever to monitor your accounts. Log in to online banking often to stay aware of any suspicious activity. Contact us right away with any suspicious transactions. Staying informed helps you protect yourself.

As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Member alert issued March 30, 2020

Coronavirus Information and Planning

This update is an effort to keep you informed about the steps we are taking during the Coronavirus pandemic.

This update deals with changes to our main Westfield office. Obviously, the Westfield office presents a special set of circumstances as it continues to get heavy foot traffic and does not have a drive-thru service that we can utilize. However, as the virus continues to spread locally, and as the Federal social distancing guidelines were just extended, we are very aware of our need to protect our staff, as well as our members. As we have noted before, experts believe that if we all temporarily limit close personal contact with those outside our households, everyone will benefit as this precautionary step will slow the spread of the virus.

Therefore, effective Tuesday, March 31st, we will make the following changes to our Westfield office, until further notice:

  • Member transactions will be by appointment only. Please call (716) 326-3858, ext 111 for an appointment.
  • Members can only access the building by the south (Main Street) main entrance. The first exterior door will be open. But the interior door to the lobby will be locked. Entrance into the lobby will be one member at a time, escorted by one of our staff. If someone is already waiting by the door, please remember to practice social distancing by standing six feet away from others.
  • Members can make deposits via the night deposit box that is located directly beside the entrance door. Deposits to that box will be posted throughout the business day. Envelopes for deposit are available next to our ATM.
  • Deposits can also be sent by mail to 19-21 East Main Street Westfield, NY, 14787.
  • The rear (north-side) door will be locked. This door will only be used for a staff entrance and exit.

As we gave notice last week, effective Monday (3/30) we also made temporary changes to three of our other branches. To sum those up: we closed our branch in Dunkirk; we went to drivethru-only services in Fredonia and Bemus Point; we revised all Friday hours to 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; and we ended all Saturday hours.

Please also note for our drive-thru services in Fredonia and Bemus Point, we have a cash withdrawal limit of $5,000. If you need to access more than the limit at either of these branches, then please call to make an appointment.

As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Currently Inner Lakes is only accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications from existing business members. Please contact us to open a business account with Inner Lakes. Once a business account has been established you are welcome to apply for the PPP loan.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8-weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. For complete program details, please visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

Forgiven Loans – PPP funds are provided in the form of loans that may be forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

Must Keep Employees on the Payroll, or Rehire Quickly – Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.

Eligibility – Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees - including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors - are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.

When to Apply – Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap.

How to Apply – Click on the “Apply Now” button below to start the process.


Please see this User Guide for step-by-step help for the application process: https://www.loan-street.com/hubfs/Filing%20a%20PPP%20application%20as%20a%20Borrower.pdf  

Failure to submit ALL required documents will delay in the processing of your loan. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. Additional information and full terms can be found at www.sba.gov.

Please note that we will also ask for:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • By-Laws
  • Operating Agreement
  • Driver’s License

Documents needed to apply


The Paycheck Protection Program is implemented by the Small Business Administration with support from the Department of the Treasury. Lenders should also visit www.sba.gov or www.coronavirus.gov for more information.

Reopening info issued May 19, 2020

We are happy to hear that our region of NYS (Western NY) will start “Phase 1” of re-opening today (May 19th). While there are four phases of re-opening (see https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase for more information) this is definitely a positive step. As you know, Inner Lakes is considered an “essential” business, which means we continued operations during the Coronavirus pandemic. However, we did make a few changes to our operations and we will slowly roll them back. 

Here is what we will do as of Tuesday, May 26th (since we are closed Monday, May 25th for Memorial Day):

  1. The lobbies of all of our branches (Westfield, Fredonia, Dunkirk, and Bemus Point) will open back up.
  2. Our Friday hours will be 9am to 5pm (not 6pm, as we understand that the majority of our members are still not back to regular work schedules).
  3. We will be open on Saturday (Westfield and Fredonia) from 9am to noon, starting next Saturday, May 30th.
  4. We also plan to run our Spring Vehicle Loan Special an extra month, to include all of June.

Additionally, we will continue our enhanced cleaning and disinfectant measures at each branch. We will also be installing (or have already installed) plexiglass shields at our teller lines. These are for everyone’s protection. And finally, we will run our Spring Vehicle Loan Special an extra month, to include all of June.

Here is what you can do:

  1. Please continue to wear masks when entering our branches.
  2. Please do not visit us if you are ill, or have been in contact with someone who is.
  3. While in our branches, please remain a safe social distance from other members and staff.
  4. Continue to make use of our many remote services. We have a full line of services that allow you to perform the majority of your financial matters from wherever you are.

We will get more information out as things change (hopefully for the better). Thank you for working with us through this. Let us know how else we can help you during this time.