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.
Vantage Credit Union was founded by members of the St. Louis Suburban Teachers Association in 1957 and was originally named Suburban Teachers Credit Union. The credit union changed its name to Vantage in 2002.
Today, Vantage has 100,000 members and nearly $700,000,000 in assets. The credit union’s 15 locations serve the City of St. Louis and 19 counties in eastern Missouri, and Madison and St. Clair Counties in Illinois.
“It’s a shame that banks many times turn away smaller business ventures with the excuse that their requests are ‘too small potatoes,’” said Vantage President/CEO Hubert Hoosman. “This is exactly why S.2231 is so important. I encourage our legislators to support this bill and give consumers a reliable choice. I’m happy credit unions like Vantage are here for those people turned away by banks, ready to help them live a dream.”
Here are some people within the community whom Vantage has helped with small business loans:
Selina Smith and Tonya Douglas had 25 years of floral experience between them, so when they heard an existing floral shop was on the market, they decided to add business owners to their resumes. Tonya noted that they “got nowhere” with the banks, so they turned to the friendlier climate of Vantage Credit Union.
“We always felt like we were on top of their to-do list,” said Smith. “Even after closing our business loan, Vantage was there for us. Honestly, I can’t think of any bank that would do that.”
Robert Puryear has been a member of Vantage for over 45 years, since its Suburban Teachers Credit Union days. After he retired from his position as a biology teacher, he went looking for something to keep him busy in his second field of expertise, real estate, which has kept him busy since 1972. Puryear found it with a new real estate venture, United Realtors. Vantage helped put him in his own building.
“I was impressed with their progressive attitude, how they went about their business,” said Puryear.
Credit unions in the St. Louis Chapter: Make contacts by phone, by email, and/or in person, 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