A Missouri small business owner highlighted the need for member business lending legislation in the March 16-22 St. Louis Business Journal. Bob Becker, the owner of Becker Contracting Company, Inc., visited Washington, D.C. in February to share with lawmakers how credit unions helped his business. He made the visit with West Community Credit Union President/CEO Gary Hinrichs and Amy McLard with the Missouri Credit Union Association.
In his letter, which appears on page 29, Becker asked members of Congress to put politics aside and do what is right for small business owners. Below is Becker’s letter in its entirety.
It’s Not About Politics, It’s About Jobs….
Last month I went to Washington, D.C. to meet with some of Missouri’s members of Congress. I’m not a political guy. I run an interior demolition firm called Becker Contracting in St. Louis – we’ve been around for 27 years.
I went to Washington, D.C. to tell my story. A few years ago, I went to my bank to ask for a reduction in my loan rate, and was turned down flat. They handled all of my accounts, but wouldn’t work with me on one loan. So I turned to the credit union that had helped me purchase my wife’s wedding ring 30 years ago.
The credit union lowered the rates of my loan, which meant more money for running my business. As a small business owner, every dollar counts. Having access to funds means I can take advantage of opportunities. Without that access, those opportunities would be shut off, and that means less money put back into the community.
I’m not alone. There are businesses all across the state that wouldn’t be around without credit unions. They provide important access to capital and help us sustain and create jobs.
Credit unions have money to lend, but there’s a lending cap that will stop them from being able to help businesses. Congress can fix this problem and it won’t cost the taxpayers a dime. The only group that opposes this legislation is the banks.
I heard that some members of Congress didn’t want to choose between banks and credit unions. But this bill isn’t about credit unions. It isn’t about banks. This is about helping small business owners like me, who want to be able to grow their businesses and hire more people.
This month, credit union leaders are headed back to Washington, D.C. to ask them to help small business owners. Members of Congress – please listen. Let’s stop talking about creating jobs, and get to work.
Bob Becker, Owner
Becker Contracting Co., Inc.
St. Louis, Missouri