COVID-19 Update

May 05, 2020

Need help remotely? View our "Where Do I Go Guide".

Update Wednesday, May 6

As you have most likely heard by now, Heritage South lobbies reopened for business yesterday. During the COVID-19 closures, we temporarily opened our College Street location drive-thru on Saturdays to provide an additional option for our Murfreesboro members. Now that our lobby availability has returned to normal, the College Street drive-thru is returning to pre-COVID hours and will be closed on Saturdays. Our Mercury Boulevard location in Murfreesboro is open on Saturdays from 9:00 am till 1:00 pm with both lobby and drive-thru availability. To find a complete list of all Heritage South locations and hours, please click here.

Update Tuesday, May 5

Dear Members,

As promised our message today is to let you know that our lobbies will re-open for business tomorrow Wednesday, May 6th. Each office will be open for normal, pre-COVID business hours (consult our website for each location).

In order to protect your health and safety and that of our employees, each office will follow the guidelines given to us by our leaders and the CDC for safe re-opening:

  • We will ask that if you are experiencing any symptoms (cough, sore throat, fever) to please refrain from visiting our lobbies until you are symptom-free.
  • If you know you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please refrain from visiting our lobbies.
  • If you have underlying health issues that would deem you to be considered “high risk” should you contract the virus, please refrain from visiting our lobbies.
  • For your convenience, we will have floor markings to make it easier for proper social distancing.
  • Our entrances and exits may be different than what you are accustomed to.
  • Our lobby guest seating will not be available during this time.
  • There may be some areas of our buildings that you will not be able to access.
  • If you are wearing a mask, we will ask that you take it down long enough for us to identify you.
  • The number of members waiting in the lobbies at one time will be limited. Once we have reached capacity, you will be asked to wait outside.
  • We will continue to follow stringent cleaning procedures in our offices.

In order to limit the number of members in our lobbies at one time, we ask that if you are able to conduct your business remotely (drive-thru, online banking, mobile banking, phone or email) you continue to do so.

We all (staff and members) have learned a great deal during this crisis. I am so appreciative of the cooperation and kind remarks from the membership. We are committed to building on what we have learned to become better. This period of time has proven that the cooperative spirit of credit unions is alive and well. It is a great time to be a member of a credit union! I hope that you will encourage your family and friends that HSCCU is a place where relationships can be built that will lead to financial success in the future.

Personally, I have enjoyed our weekly communication. If you have been following my messages, you know that I look for inspiration through reading and enjoy sharing motivational quotes. Today I will end with one that I find very appropriate to the situation at hand.

“The right way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Laura L. Parham, CEO
Heritage South Community Credit Union
931-680-1400

Update Tuesday, April 28

Today’s message brings optimism that we have gotten past the immediate crisis presented by the pandemic and will soon be able to resume activities that are more normal than they have been in several weeks! We know however that we must remain diligent in order to maintain the progress that has been made to control the spread of the virus.

Here at HSCCU we are making plans to re-open our lobbies. While we do not have an exact date to report today, we anticipate that it will be very soon. We have ordered supplies and equipment that we feel is necessary to keep you and our staff safe. As soon as that is received and in place we will communicate with you the date that lobby services will resume.

When we do resume lobby service, the “new normal” will be to ask you to practice safe social distancing and being respectful of your fellow members and our staff. You may experience wait times that are a little longer in the lobbies and you may be asked to wait for staff members in your vehicles in order that we may limit the number of members in our offices at one time. Lobby traffic may be re-directed and some areas of the building may not be accessed. All of this is in an effort to follow the guidance that our leaders and the CDC have asked us to observe.

We continue to be encouraged by the number of members who have learned how to access and use our remote services! If you have that ability, we ask that you continue to do that if at all possible. This will allow those members who do not have that capability to be served inside the lobbies more efficiently.

Our team continues to work every day with members who have experienced financial hardship due to this pandemic. We have spoken with hundreds of you personally to work out a plan so that your credit rating is protected and you remain a member in good standing. If you haven’t made that call yet, we urge you to do so.

I have been so encouraged to witness the efforts of the members of our communities to support local small businesses. If you have been fortunate enough to have survived this crisis with your income unaffected, please make it a point to continue to do this. The only way for our local small businesses to survive will be with your support. As these businesses attempt to re-open with limited capacity and also practicing safe and healthy guidelines, it is more important than ever that we patronize them.

If you have been following my weekly updates, you know by now that the cooperative spirit is near and dear to me. The following quote from Helen Keller so profoundly summarizes the impact of cooperation: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  I am confident that as members of this credit union, as members of our communities, as citizens of this great country; together we can do so much.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Laura Parham
CEO
Heritage South Community Credit Union
931-680-1400

Update Wednesday, April 22

Dear Members,

This week’s message comes to you with hope that we will soon hear that we are past the worst of the COVID-19 crisis and that we can begin to emerge, albeit carefully from behind closed doors. Over the next week, we will begin to formulate our plan to responsibly re-open our lobbies. While that may not completely look like “business as usual” at first, it will be a start to determining what the new normal should be under the circumstances. As soon as we have more information with an exact date, we will communicate that with you.

This week I read an article from the Washington Post that explained the reason “Social distancing is so hard is because it is contrary to human nature”. The article explains that as human beings we are distinctly social in that we are especially cooperative and that we are among the few species that choose to share with one another.

This cooperative nature of providing and sharing with one another is why I love the credit union philosophy of people helping people. It is as simple as members of a community coming together to pool their funds in the form of deposits so others can borrow from them in the form of loans. These loans help to provide dependable vehicles, homes, farm equipment, money to pay for school and the list goes on and on. There are so many hard-working American members who have benefitted from a credit union.

It is also because of this cooperative structure that HSCCU has been committed to working with our members during this very difficult time. To those of you who have spoken with one of our COVID-19 Hardship team members, we offer our sincere appreciation for your commitment to take care of your responsibilities and to maintain your credit rating.

If you have a loan with us and are experiencing financial hardships but have not spoken with a team member, please give us a call. We are here to help all members deal with any financial hardship caused by the pandemic. Our goal is to maintain and strengthen the relationship between us and to see that you remain a member in good standing.

Over the past couple of weeks, whether you realized it or not, you may have spoken with me on the phone if you called in. From time to time I like to answer member phones calls “incognito” so that I might gain a true perspective of what you’re experiencing. Sometimes I hear the worry and frustration over the phone, but more times than not I am greeted by your appreciation. For that, I am extremely proud and grateful for our staff who works tirelessly to serve you.

Even during this time of enduring what is not natural for us as humans, I am encouraged by the increase in the number of members who are now using our digital services. I am extremely impressed by the innovation of our staff and members who are determined to continue to “do business” one way or another. I am grateful for what we have learned during this time that will allow us to serve you better in the future. Most of all we look forward to the time that we can visit face to face (even if at a slight distance) if that is how you choose to do business with us in the future. The important thing will be that the choice is yours and no matter what you choose, we will be here to serve you!

Sincerely,

Laura Parham
CEO
Heritage South Community Credit Union
931-680-1400

Update Friday, April 10

Dear Members,

As we continue to navigate through a new way to conduct business during this period of uncertainty and challenges, I try to gain wisdom and insight by reading. I was particularly inspired today by this quote; “All great changes are preceded by chaos.”

It seems the last few weeks our entire world has been in chaos. I however choose to believe that the result of this chaos will be great change. As a credit union we are learning to do things in a new way that we most likely would not have learned otherwise. Have we done things perfectly? Certainly not, but we will build on this experience to become better.

To date we have spoken with hundreds of members who are experiencing COVID-19 related hardships. We are working with each case individually to develop an action plan in order to protect member assets and preserve credit ratings. We are providing financial guidance and education. We are assisting more members than ever through online and mobile banking. This means in addition to our staff learning new things, our members are as well!

In a few weeks, many of you will begin to receive economic impact payments from the IRS. Here are some tips about what to do when those payments arrive:

  • If you are working but don’t have a three-month emergency fund, SAVE the money. If you don’t have an emergency fund account set up, CALL US!
  • If you are working and already have a three-month fund set up, it is okay to spend the money to help the economy. There should be some really great deals out there!
  • If you are out of work use the funds to cover basic essentials. If you have been out of work or had reduced hours due to a COVID-19 related hardship and have monthly payments to HSCCU, give us a call. We will work with you. We DO NOT want you and your family to go without basic essentials.

We need to make you aware on Monday April 20th, ALL HSCCU offices will be closed. This closure was planned well before the crisis and is totally unrelated to COVID-19. That day we will be performing planned system upgrades that require our system to be shut down for a period of time. This means that drive thru lanes will be closed and online and mobile banking, mobile deposits and our ATMs will be down for most if not all of the day. You may experience debit card declines for larger purchases. Please carry cash or an alternate form of payment that day “just in case.” We will be here answering phone calls that day, however we will be unable to perform transactions or give balance information or transaction history information.

Even though our lobbies remain closed until our government leaders tell us it is safe to re-open them, we are still hard at work for you. We are doing our best to remain positive, stay healthy and learn as much as we can from this experience. When this is all over and we are able to re-open our lobbies, I will ask a favor of all of you. If we have helped you in some way during this “chaos”, please ask your family and friends to join HSCCU. We look forward to doing great things for them as well!

Sincerely,

Laura Parham
CEO
Heritage South Community Credit Union
931-680-1400

Update Thursday, April 2

Dear Members,

As we have now almost completed two weeks of serving you remotely, I would like to once again offer my sincere appreciation not only to the membership but also to our staff. Like many other businesses, we have taken measures to attempt to protect our staff and to maintain continuity of operations. Our employees are working extra hard to be sure your phone calls are answered, you are served at our drive-thru lanes and that you have access to our online and digital services. The membership has been extremely patient and grateful. This is why I am proud and thankful to be a part of Heritage South Community Credit Union.

The management and board of directors feel that the correct thing to do for our members and our staff is to continue to operate remotely until further notice. As soon as our national, state and community leaders give us guidance that it is safe to open for business, you will all be the first to know.

We have heard from so many of you who are now experiencing time off from work due to cutbacks, layoffs, closings, etc. Many of you have done exactly what we have asked you to do. Call us! Tell us about your individual situations because there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone’s situation is different and we want to work with you to protect your assets and your credit rating.

Please refer to the COVID-19 Update page on our website to find the “Where Do I Go Guide”. This guide will give you all of the phone numbers and other resources we have available to serve you remotely or to speak with an HSCCU representative.

We have operated for years under the premise that there are times in all of our lives when bad things happen to good people, thus the birth of our mission; “We Help When Others Won’t.” I cannot think of a time in all of my career that this is truer than right now. Whether you are experiencing loss of income, illness or just fear and anxiety about the future, rest assured we are all in this together. If we work together we can and will come out on the other side, a stronger credit union, a stronger community, and better human beings.

Sincerely,

Laura Parham
CEO
Heritage South Community Credit Union
931-680-1400

Update Wednesday, March 25

Dear Members,

We are now into our 6th day of serving you through remote sources. I would like to thank you, the membership, for your cooperation, understanding and the positive feedback you are giving as we navigate operating in the current environment.

As it was from the beginning, our goals are as follows: 

  • Continue to provide access to your money and the financial services and products we provide.
  • Protect the health and safety of our members and staff as much as is humanly possible while doing so.
  • Give financial guidance and support to those of you who are experiencing financial difficulty in order to relieve stress and protect your credit rating.
  • Protect the assets and safety and soundness of YOUR credit union.

The dates we originally communicated for remote services (lobbies closed) were March 20th through March 27th. As you all know our elected officials have strongly urged citizens and businesses to continue to follow “social distancing” guidelines and to limit face to face contact as much as possible. Therefore, we will continue to operate using remote services only through April 4th, 2020.

Available to our members is a “Where Do I Go Guide”. This guide lists all of the different resources you can use to conduct business remotely, as well as direct phone numbers for our team that is dedicated to working “COVID-19 Related Hardships”. To find the guide and other COVID-19 updates, please click here (pdf).

Although these past few days and weeks have been challenging, I have never been prouder to be a part of the credit union industry and more particularly of this credit union. As members, you are an owner of a not-for-profit financial cooperative. By definition cooperative as an adjective means “involving mutual assistance in working toward a common goal.” I cannot think of a better way to describe what our staff and members are doing for each other under the current environment.

I would also urge all of you if you are able, to support your local small business owners during this time. They are the lifeblood of the economy in our communities and it is imperative that we do everything we can to help them as well.

Sincerely,

Laura Parham
CEO
Heritage South Community Credit Union
931-680-1400

Update Monday, March 23

Our lobbies remain closed this week for the safety of our members, employees, and community. If you are unsure how to get help with your specific situation while our lobbies are closed, we created a handy guide that covers a variety of situations. View it here (.pdf).

Update Friday, March 20

This Saturday, all Heritage South drive thrus will be open their regular Saturday hours. Additionally, we are opening our Murfreesboro – College Street drive thru on Saturday from 9:00am till 1:00pm. The lobby of our Murfreesboro – Mercury Blvd location will be closed. For a list of our regular Saturday hours, please click here.

Original Message (Thursday, March 19)

Dear Members:

In a world where uncertainty seems to lie around every corner, sometimes it is very difficult to know what to do. In those times of uncertainty, we must rely on the information presented to us from the most reliable sources as well as our conviction and best judgment. 

In dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are following the advice of medical professionals and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Due to the layout of our offices and the nature of our business, encouraging staff and members to practice “social distancing” (maintaining approximately 6 feet from others) has proven to be a challenge. While we have seen a decrease in lobby traffic this week, we must make the safety of the members, our staff and our communities our number one priority.

After careful and thoughtful consideration, we have decided to close our lobbies beginning March 20th through March 27th. We will evaluate the situation throughout the week to determine our course of action the following week. We will keep you informed of our decision and relay that to you no later than Friday of next week.

Our drive thrus will remain open during regular business hours. This includes our live teller drive thrus at our Shelbyville, Lewisburg and College Street (Murfreesboro) branches as well as our interactive teller machines at our Mercury Boulevard and Smyrna branches. Our ATMs remain available for your needs. Our call center agents will be answering your phone calls during regular business hours. Our lenders and member service staff will be available by phone and email as well. Our mortgage representatives and other lenders will be able to see you by appointment for anything that cannot be handled by phone or electronically. Additionally, many inquiries and transactions can be handled through our online banking and mobile banking app.

Our commitment to supporting our members, staff and communities through this time is unwavering. Even though we may be serving you from a distance, we will be here to serve and fulfill the credit union philosophy of “people helping people”. 

Sincerely,
Laura Parham
CEO
Heritage South Community Credit Union
931-680-1400