This month marks the eighth anniversary of the collapse ofLehman Bros. and the ensuing breakdown of numerous other financialinstitutions that created our nation's massive financial crisis –an impact that continues to reverberate through our nation and theworld.

As lawmakers return to Washington from the August recess and thepresidential election campaign evolves, it is critical that weleverage every chance to promote awareness of one of the brightspots from the financial crisis: Credit unions. Thanks to theirunique, prudent business model of service to their members, creditunions were, and continue to be, instrumental in helping our nationrecover, particularly in the area of Main Street smallbusinesses.

Credit unions – not-for-profit, member-owned financialcooperatives – and small businesses have a naturally symbioticrelationship. Small businesses are the catalysts that help fuel oureconomy, and account for 99.7% of U.S. employers. Indeed, America'sentrepreneurial spirit is on the upswing. According to the 2016Kauffman Index of Startup Activity, recent startup activityincreased to 0.38 in 2016 – going up for the second year in a row –two years after decreasing to its lowest level in two decades.Credit unions are a great source of capital that help Main Streetbusinesses succeed and contribute to America's economy and jobgrowth.

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