This is part of a series of stories highlighting credit unions making small business loans in Missouri. Credit unions in each region are urged to call and email our U.S. Senators in support of S. 2231, sharing stories about the people who are helping small businesses grow, and the small business owners who benefit when they have more financial options.
Kansas City Chapter: Make Senate contacts by calling 1-877-642-4223, by using the Grassroots Action Center and/or visiting in person, highlighting the small business lending efforts of Mazuma Credit Union and asking for support of S. 2231, the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act.
Mazuma Credit Union started in 1948 as the Kansas City National Federation of Federal Employees Credit Union. Founder Joe Pinkerton and his wife, Wyla, carried a shoe box for collecting the first deposits as they traveled by rail to reach new members. Today, the $475 million credit union serves more than 52,000 members who live or work in the Missouri counties of Cass, Clay and Jackson.
Through the years, Mazuma Credit Union has grown with its members’ needs. In 2006, the credit union began offering business deposit and lending services. Just six years later, Mazuma Credit Union is against the member business lending cap of 12.25% of assets, with more business owners coming to them for loans every day.
“The argument that credit unions should only fund consumer loans and leave the business loans to the banking industry is just fundamentally flawed,” says Mazuma President/CEO Brandon Michaels. “Throughout the recession, and subsequent recovery, credit unions managed the risk of our portfolios far better than the banking industry did. Frankly, small business loans put people to work and help the U.S. economy, regardless of where the loan comes from.”
Here are some of the small business owners helped by Mazuma Credit Union:
As a former Commander in the U.S. Army and Maryland National Guard who was disabled while in service, Frank Clay knows how important it is to take good care of our country’s veterans. His company, The Clay Group, LLC, is the sole source of paper, towel and other products to Veteran’s Administration (VA) medical centers nationwide. With his business, Clay continues his service to our country by providing quality services and products to provide cleaner, healthier and safer VA medical facilities.
Clay also works as a business consultant and business coach through his other company, The Leander Group. Clay turned to Mazuma Credit Union when banks didn’t want to work with his companies’ unique needs.
“Small business lending is important, and we’ve experienced many benefits with credit unions, including accessibility and approachability,” says Clay. “Mazuma understood our business model, business structure, and our loan needs related to cash flow. The lending rates were better and Mazuma’s ability to close the deal in a timely manner was key to our success. The number one reason we chose Mazuma Credit Union was because banks did not take the time to understand our business model.”
Jeff Justice takes security seriously. As the owner of Starion Technologies, LLC, he provides residential and commercial installation of security systems, cameras and card access and telephone systems, as well as web or email hosting services in the Kansas City metro area. Justice also operates Wave Auto Wash, a large car and truck wash facility in Belton.
As a Missouri business owner for more than 20 years, Justice understands the importance of good financial services. After dealing with banks, he prefers credit unions.
“Our businesses have banked with all of the ‘big corporate banks’ in the area over the years. Our relationship with Mazuma Credit Union has continued longer by far than any other bank we have had,” states Justice. “The reason for this is clear, we are treated with respect. At my branch in Raymore, they all know me by my first name.”
Justice took his message to U.S. Senators Blunt and McCaskill, asking for their support of S. 2231.
“Credit unions should be able to grow using the same tools as other financial institutions. Allowing credit unions to make more and larger loans will absolutely benefit small business in this tough economy,” says Justice. “Credit unions are Member-based, and I am a Member. The ability of my credit union to grow benefits me personally as well.”
Kansas City Chapter credit unions: Make contacts by phone, by email, and/or in person today, highlighting the small business lending efforts and asking for support of S. 2231, the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act.
• Grassroots Action Center (please be sure to register BEFORE writing your email)
• Credit union presidents and small business owners are encouraged to make contacts directly to McCaskill and Blunt key staff members.