This is a series of stories highlighting credit unions making small business loans in Missouri and the need for S. 2231, the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act.
River Region Credit Union was founded in 1954 by members of the Missouri National Guard, and was originally called Missouri National Guard Credit Union. In 1997, the credit union was granted a geographic expansion to serve people who live or work in Boone, Cole, Osage, Callaway, Moniteau and Miller counties in Missouri. Today, other membership groups include all employees of the Army and Air National Guard; employees of the Adjutant General’s office; corporations engaged in the delivery of health care; and people, societies, associations, co-partnerships and corporations employed by or affiliated with the transportation industry. After various mergers and a growing community membership, the members of Missouri National Guard Credit Union voted in 2001 to change the name to River Region Credit Union.
As the credit union has grown, so have the services it offers. This includes member business lending.
“We are happy to fill a niche in small business lending that banks are not,” says River Region President/CEO Rick Nichols. “We are lending to those in the community that would otherwise be turned away from a bank due to the size of the loan. It allows us to offer that same personal service that we provide to our consumers on a business level. We take great pride in watching the small businesses in our community thrive and know that we were able to help them get started.”
Here is just one example of a small business owner being helped by River Region Credit Union:
Benjamin Huhman and his wife, Lindsay, are building their longtime dream – owning and operating a restaurant in Jefferson City. Currently under construction, The Grand Café will offer casual fine dining with French and American contemporary cuisine. The restaurant will serve consumers along High Street – close to the hub of action at the state capitol.
The Huhmans, who are members of River Region Credit Union and trust them with their personal finances, came to the credit union when they wanted to start their restaurant business and needed a loan.
Getting the restaurant ready is a family effort, with everyone pitching in, but it would not have been possible without the loan from River Region Credit Union. The Grand Café is scheduled to officially open on June 1.
Credit unions outside of the Kansas City and St. Louis Chapters: Make contacts by phone, by email, and/or in person on April 26, 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.