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WASHINGTON-In a letter to House Small Business Committee Chairman Don Manzullo (R-Ill.), NAFCU asked that an amendment to permit federal credit unions broader acceptance to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) 7(a) guaranteed loan program be added to the American Small Business Emergency Relief and Recovery Act of 2001. “We believe your bill coupled with an amendment expanding access for federal credit unions to the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) program would greatly help small businesses affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,” NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker wrote. Currently, only credit unions with “geographic” charters are immediately approved for SBA loans, while 90% of credit unions, which are associational or occupational charters, are only considered on a case-by-case basis because they do not serve the general public. SBA has indicated concern about discrimination, while credit unions say the law limits who they can serve. NAFCU’s letter pointed out that more than 200 loans averaging $101,000 were approved for impacted credit unions. Federal credit unions’ business loans average $80,000, according to NAFCU. “The similarity in these loan amounts shows that credit unions are in a strong position to assist with SBA’s terrorist recovery plan,” the letter read.

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