For 85 years, Michigan's credit unions have been offering business loans "in the same prudent and common-sense manner that they have also handled mortgages and personal loans," Michigan Credit Union League President/CEO David Adams recently reminded.
"Small businesses, the lifeblood of job growth in Michigan and the country, are being squeezed from all directions. In the current economic environment, it's especially tough to get capital, but credit unions are in a unique position to make loans to help small businesses turn things around," wrote Adams in an April 3 Lansing State Journal editorial.
Adams, along with many others in the industry, are actively encouraging lifting the 12.25% of assets member business lending cap. In Michigan, small businesses represent 98.4% of the state's businesses. From 1991 to 2005, businesses with fewer than five employees were the only group that added new jobs to Michigan's economy, Adams wrote.
"We all hope that banks return to full strength soon because a strong banking sector is necessary for a healthy economy. In the meantime, credit unions are a viable alternative and they are doing their part to move Michigan forward," Adams wrote.
The MCUL recently partnered with Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to create an alliance that pairs CUs with the state's 12 small business and technology and development centers to provide access to small business capital.