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SEATTLE-Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Hector Baretto announced at NAFCU’s Annual Conference that credit union participation in the agency’s 7(a) lending program is a matter of “not if, but when.” While the SBA is still looking for a solution to permitting broader credit union participation in government-backed business lending, Baretto said he is not sensing resistance from any involved, but simply blamed typical Washington bureaucracy for much of the lag time. Another minor hold up in the process is the recent appointment of a new general counsel about one month ago who is still familiarizing himself with the agency and its issues. The agency is exploring several avenues to involve more credit unions in the form of legal opinion letters or regulation, according to SBA Deputy Press Secretary Senior Advisor Joseph Pally. He added that SBA is looking to get this done “sooner rather than later.”

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