The early success of a credit union small business financing program is one example of how cooperatives are helping out, said David Adams, president/CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League.
Adams referred to a partnership between Michigan CUs and Gov. Jennifer Granholm to jumpstart small business growth in Michigan through the Credit Union Small Business Financing Alliance. With the help of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Centers, 30 CUs have volunteered $43 million to be made available in small business loans. Adams said the first loans in this new program have already helped keep jobs at Pinnacle Electronics in Clinton Township and create jobs at a new chiropractic office in Lapeer.
Legislation pending in Congress, H.R. 3380/S. 2919, would create 100,000 new jobs and pump $10 billion into the economy by giving CUs more authority to make business loans at no cost to taxpayers, Adams wrote in a Sept. 20 letter to the Detroit News.
"Building a new, vibrant Michigan will take cooperation from public and private sectors, but the most important factor is small business growth," he said. "We can't meet all the business borrowing needs of our economy, but we can be an important resource, especially for the small business community."