Credit Unions Provide More than Money to Small Biz: Guest Opinion
A Sept. 11, 2013, story in Credit Union Times (Small Business Owners’ Plea to Credit Unions: Earn My Business) reported on a focus group of small business owners who generally concluded that credit unions are having a hard time serving their needs compared to banks.
This may well be a case of “perception is reality,” and may once again point to the need for the industry and individual credit unions to do a better job of promoting small business services. For instance, while the article cited high praise for the friendly service of credit unions, it also recorded the worry that branches were not easily accessible to small business employees. Of course, the credit union industry’s shared branching network addresses this concern, with more than 5,000 live teller branches and 2,000 other self-service locations—a network larger than all but three national banks.
Firefighters Community Credit Union of Cleveland, Ohio, is also a business-friendly institution that offers financial counseling and other assistance to its members—not just firefighters—who own local businesses. Through a partnership with Accel, a financial counseling firm based in Farmington Hills, Mich., FCCU provides to its members such free online services as confidential credit counseling, financial education, housing counseling and optional debt management services.
Providing special services to its small business members, CommunityAmerica Credit Union in Kansas City, Mo., has a web page dedicated to assisting business owners with online advice on insurance, assets, liabilities and employee benefits. The web page also includes an article entitled 7 Ways to Keep Your Business on a Profitable Path.