DESTIN, Fla.-In a speech to the Alabama Credit Union League Annual Meeting, NCUA Board Member Debbie Matz urged credit union leaders to consider the member business lending option. “Done safely, member business loans are an opportunity to serve an underserved niche, reach new members, and diversify assets,” Matz told nearly 500 attendees. She added that partnering with the Small Business Administration and providing other services could help small businesses throughout the state thrive. While there are risks and it’s not for every credit union, Matz pointed out that partnering with SBA can help mitigate some of that risk. “SBA takes on at least half the risk by guaranteeing 50-75% of the principal,” she said. “The guaranteed portion does not count against your member business loan cap, and there is an active secondary market for SBA loans, so you in turn can make more loans. SBA lending is a tremendous opportunity to reach new members by making certain types of business loans that you otherwise would not be able to approve.” But loans are not the only service small businesses need. “Services such as business checking, business savings, cash management, payroll, insurance, and employee benefits provide added value for members who are working hard to make their businesses thrive,” Matz said. “And it’s good business for your credit union. These services can provide a steady income stream along with the loans.” “At the end of the day,” Matz concluded, “you are doing more than `Taking Care of Business.’ You are taking care of people. You can help small business owners achieve their goals of financial independence. At the same time, you can help your credit union attract new business – which will help you achieve your goals as well.”

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