Credit Unions Get Credit for Helping Small Businesses
Credit unions’ efforts to help small business owners are not going unnoticed – and are even being highlighted in front of bankers. During a regional advisory committee meeting for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill’s (D) Deputy Director Mattie Moore pointed out that credit unions are making loans to small businesses that aren’t being helped by local banks. Bankers were present at the meeting.
“Our lobbying efforts are paying off, and our message is being heard and retained,” says Ken Moser, Arsenal Credit Union vice president of Marketing, who was present at the meeting with Moore. “We are telling our member business lending stories, and elected officials are repeating them out in the community.”
The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) highlighted 23 credit unions making small business loans in Missouri and distributed the stories via the MCUA website, Facebook page, and emails to credit unions and federal legislative offices. The small business lending series depicted the difference credit unions are making to small business owners, many of whom faced multiple rejections when trying to obtain a loan from banks.
Credit union representatives and small business owners followed up by taking part in regional meetings with staff members from Senator McCaskill and Senator Roy Blunt’s (R) offices, including a meeting with Moore in St. Louis.
“We know that hearing directly from small business owners has a real impact – and these comments being made by lawmakers’ staff in the community just reinforce it,” says Amy McLard, MCUA vice president of federal legislative affairs. “When credit unions involve their small business owners, it allows them to tell lawmakers directly that they need access to more financial options – not more restrictions.”
Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate and House would help more consumers gain access to member business lending (MBL). The Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act, S. 2231, and H.R. 1418, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, would raise the MBL cap from 12.25 percent to 27.5 percent of assets.