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BRONX, N.Y. – On a recent visit to Bethex Federal Credit Union to meet small business owners, NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson emphasized the movement’s pivotal role in helping entrepreneurs. On April 7, Johnson visited the $9 million credit union, which is located in a predominantly Hispanic underserved community here. During her visit, Johnson, joined by Bethex FCU CEO Joy Cousminer, toured several of the Bethex’s members’ small businesses. “The visit demonstrated to me personally, the tremendous difference credit unions are making in communities where access to traditional financial services is limited,” Johnson said. “Bethex’s record of success on serving their member business lending is enlightening and we need to do more to encourage credit unions to make their communities a better place by supporting their members’ entrepreneurial spirit.” Johnson met with credit union member business owners at Irving Enterprise, an auto insurance agency; RC Miscellaneous Corp., a laundromat; Burnside Beauty & Nail Salon; and Miami Deli, Inc. “Member business loans may be our most important product,” Cousminer said. “Healthy businesses are what stabilize and build a community. In our area most businesses don’t have a track record or a shaky one at best. Banks won’t take a chance so it’s the loan shark or Bethex.” Since joining the NCUA Board, Johnson has made member business lending a key priority for her regulatory agenda. “While we have made great progress with member business lending regulations, as we move forward as an agency, I will continue to pursue opportunities to enhance NCUA’s member business lending regulations,” Johnson said. “We need to make sure that credit unions can answer the call to serve their members complete financial needs, especially when members often have no alternative financial partner to start a new business, expand, or create new jobs for their local community.”

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