Small Businesses Grow as Unemployment Crawls
Amid reports of sluggish job creation, some credit unions are still helping small businesses grow.
The $1.8 billion Veridian Credit Union in Waterloo, Iowa was featured in a USA Today article for coming to the aid of the owner of a medical supply firm that was turned down by a bank. The cooperative offered a $25,000 line of credit that helped the owner deliver on several big jobs.
John Poley, head of commercial lending at Veridian, said the credit union’s business lending was up 80% from 2009 to 2010 by providing loans to mom-and-pop start-ups, manufacturing, industrial and real estate firms.
The $1.6 billion FAIRWINDS Credit Union in Orlando, Fla. said since becoming a Small Business Administration Preferred Lender earlier this year, it has approved more than $1.25 million of the program’s loans with several million more in the pipeline. The credit union has been working with the SBA for several years and has disbursed more than $11.4 million of the agency’s loans since 2007.
The $183 million Gateway Metro Federal Credit Union in St. Louis and the $11 million North Side Community Federal Credit Union in Chicago were recently highlighted for their efforts with helping small businesses.
Meanwhile, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney kept the momentum going on a bill that would raise the cap on member business lending from 12.25% of assets to 27.5%. In a July 8 letter, Cheney told Senate leaders that the latest federal job report, which showed 9.2% unemployment and the creation of just 18,000 jobs in June, offered more proof that credit unions can be instrumental in helping small business create more jobs.
“If S. 509 were law, we believe credit unions could lend an additional $13 billion to small businesses in the first year, helping them to create 140,000 new jobs without increasing the size of government or outlaying a single taxpayer dollar,” Cheney wrote.