As part of a series on CEOs and small business lending, NerdWallet recently interviewed two local credit union presidents: Brandon Michaels, of Mazuma Credit Union (Kansas City, Mo.) and Gary Hinrichs, of West Community Credit Union (O’Fallon, Mo.).
NerdWallet is a website that offers financial advice and strives to keep people, especially business owners, informed on top issues through timely articles. In this particular interview series, one of the key findings that emerged is that small business financing is not a one-size-fits-all industry. This flexible, customer relationship-oriented point was reinforced in both Michaels and Hinrichs’ responses.
“Our process is very relationship-based and specific to the individual member’s business and situation,” said Michaels. “We are not as rigid as banks and work to truly understand the cash flow cycles of the business in order to structure what is best for them and the credit union. WE don’t make decisions based off matrices. Each situation and Member is different and therefore should be treated as such.”
Similarly, Hinrichs emphasized the importance of credit unions’ relationship with their customers.
“Credit unions even have the unique ability to work together to offer larger business loans, despite regulations limiting the amount we can lend to any one borrower,” said Hinrichs. “We are also very conscious about pricing and fees to ensure that we are providing our members with the best possible value.”
Both CEOs predicted that small business owners will be turning away from banks and their strict loan requirements, and will be looking to credit unions to fill those lending needs.
Pictured (from top): Brandon Michaels of Mazuma Credit Union and Gary Hinrichs of West Community Credit Union
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