UNO Negotiates Agreement with Check Cashing Company in Chicago

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The United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) worked with PLS Check Cashers to find a way to reduce the fees that are associated with check cashing institutions. On July 28, PLS Check Cashers introduced "Change is Good," a new campaign with 1% + $1 check cashing fees - a signifcant fee reduction. Juan Rangel, CEO of the United Neighborhood Organization, believes the new campaign will benefit residents of urban communities.

Many Hispanic immigrants prefer to use check cashers to handle their financial transactions

The United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) and PLS Check Cashers were partner sponsors of the Viva America Festival which took place during this year's 4th of July weekend and was designed to facilitate the citizenship process for immigrants in Chicago through UNO's Immigration Department.

Over the past two months, representatives of UNO have met with executives of PLS Check Cashers, which is headquartered in Chicago. The goal of these meetings was to find a way to reduce the fees that are associated with check cashing institutions. "Too many people in our community are being stretched by the economic environment, and we sought a company that would be willing to sit down, discuss the subject, and come to a resolution that would benefit our community," stated Juan Rangel, CEO of the United Neighborhood Organization, "PLS Check Cashers was willing to do this, and together we formed a plan to meet the needs of the community in these difficult times."

On July 28, PLS Check Cashers announced the "Change is Good" campaign which significantly reduces their check cashing fees. The fees that PLS Check Cashers charges consumers that use their services are now lower than their competitors. With a 1% + $1 fee charged for cashing most recurring checks, they have set a new standard for Chicagoland check cashing consumers and providers.

UNO is happy to announce this historic partnership with PLS Check Cashers and firmly believes that a dialogue must continue between community organizations and executive leaders within industries that are sustained by our communities. "Many Hispanic immigrants prefer to use check cashers to handle their financial transactions," said Rangel. "PLS Check Cashers has taken the initiative to give its customers a mix of low-cost financial services and savings programs. The new services offered by PLS will help people save to create a strong financial future."

Alderman George Cardenas (12th Ward - Chicago) extended his congratulations to UNO for their success in reaching out to PLS for support. "PLS Check Cashers progressive leadership will save Chicagoans hundreds of thousands of dollars. I am appreciative of PLS and UNO's efforts to make this possible," said Cardenas.

"We are extremely pleased with the enthusiastic response to our 'Change is Good' campaign. After only 48 hours, we've had hundreds of customers tell us how much they appreciate the savings," says Bob Wolfberg, Co-President of Chicago-based PLS.

ABOUT:
UNO:
The United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) was established in 1984 by a group of community leaders and local Priests. Modeled on an Alinsky style of community organizing, UNO seeks to build grass-roots leadership within Chicago's Hispanic neighborhoods that can organize for power and address local issues. Through these efforts, UNO challenges everyday residents to get involved and contribute to the advancement of their community. Understanding the vision and aspirations of its community, UNO has continuously positioned itself at the forefront of cutting-edge issues and delivered real results through a combination of neighborhood base-building and pragmatic power politics.

Alderman George Cardenas:
Alderman George Cardenas is currently in the 1st year of his second term as the 12th Ward Alderman for the City of Chicago. The 12th Ward consists of portions of South Lawndale, Little Village, Brighton Park, McKinley Park, and Back of the Yards. Alderman Cardenas's Committee memberships include: Finance, Economic, Capital & Technology Development, Education, Parks & Recreation, Health, Aging and Disability, and Committees, Rules and Ethics. As alderman, George Cardenas is committed to improving the quality of life for every resident of the ward. Cardenas's top priorities are improving the educational opportunities for our children, reducing crime, bring real economic development and job opportunities into the ward, and providing the highest level of City Services possible.

PLS Financial Services:
Chicago-based PLS Financial Services operates more than 300 financial service centers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, New York, Texas and Wisconsin, with more than 3,000 employees. It is one of the largest, oldest and most distinguished organizations in the check cashing industry, and is a Western Union money transfer network. PLS was recently named as one of Chicago's Largest Privately Held Companies and also a member of "Fast50" by Crain's Chicago Business®. The PLS Financial Service brands include: PLS Loan Store, which provides consumer micro-loans; PLS Check Cashers, which offers check cashing, money transfer services, money orders and bill payments; PLS Vehicle Registration; and PLS Tax Service. More information about PLS is available from Barb Wolf at PLS Financial Services, 300 North Elizabeth St., Chicago, IL 60607, telephone 312-491-7888.

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Mark Anthony Flores
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