State Employees Credit Union of Maryland, Nassau Educators Federal Credit Union,
Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, Bay Gulf Credit Union, Freedom of Massachusetts Federal Credit Union, McCoy Federal Credit Union, Parda Federal Credit Union, Premier Federal Credit Union and STCU Federal Credit Union have signed on to encourage their members and potential members to consider SBA loans.
Priority for the loans will be given to those businesses where the loan will create jobs, and the company has verifiable current and future demand for its products or services. Priority will also go to businesses that focus on green products, services and alternative energy.
"Recently, the government announced some very new changes with SBA's program. We looked at those changes and said 'what an absolutely perfect opportunity for credit unions,'" said Murray Halperin, senior vice president of institutional sales at CUBC.
From there, CUBC approached its credit union partners asking what they could do to help small businesses in their respective marketplaces. Collectively, the nine credit unions saw the potential the SBA loans had for closing deals, Halperin said. CUBC has hired SBA lenders in each of their markets to facilitate the loans under the guidance of Devon Callan, vice president of small business lending.
Entrepreneurs can apply for the SBA loans at the credit union, online at the financial institution's Web site, or through Lending Solutions, a CUBC partner. Halperin said applicants with loan requests over the $500,000 mark are put directly in touch with Callan's SBA lending team. Applicants must meet guidelines established by the credit union and SBA. Conventional loans are also available should a business owner not meet SBA's criteria.
So far, the $1.75 billion SECU has taken the lead on a LEED certified student housing project at the University of Maryland. Halperin said the facility is among the first of its kind in the nation. Eighty percent of the loan has already been participated out to credit unions both in and out of the CUBC network. The construction project is expected to create a number of jobs although the exact figure has not been accounted for yet. Halperin said the figure would be available at a follow-up meeting scheduled for the week of April 20. Going forward, CUBC plans to put together a matrix that will track the number of new jobs formed through SBA business loans the CUSO grants.
"These are the kind of deals that are coming out our way now," Halperin said. "We want to be able to look at every opportunity that comes through and how it will keep people employed."
CUBC has set a goal of raising $100 million in SBA lending capacity. The CUSO said as the initial $45 million is used up, it will evaluate demand and quality and, if warranted, release a second tranche. Its initial focus will be along the East Coast with plans already underway to expand SBA funding nationwide. Halperin said in the grand scheme of things, $45 million may not be a large amount. However, as the economy continues to find its footing, the CUSO is hoping the funding will provide some leverage.
"There are many small businesses growing and showing promise during this transitional economic season, we believe that with the credit union philosophy of people helping people we can make a difference to these small businesses," said Bert Bryan, CEO of CUBC.