WASHINGTON -- SBA Administrator Steven Preston applauded credit unions for the good work they do and said they are important to the rebuilding of New Orleans businesses and others impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
He explained that he has only been on the job seven months, but has completely overhauled the infrastructure of the SBA's disaster recovery efforts following the twin hurricanes. One hundred thirty-nine credit unions were among those affected in addition to 680,000 members. Since taking over SBA, backlogs for disaster loans have been cut by 90% and SBA loans to minorities are increasing.
Currently, just 315 credit unions participate in SBA lending and Preston said he would like to see more providing small businesses with access to capital. "Credit unions are perfectly positioned to fill that role where appropriate," he said. Preston added that SBA has been working with NCUA to increase member business lending.
"The role of the government," Preston said, "is to create a sustained environment where small businesses can flourish." Credit unions are a part of that.