Above: Joe Trettel, who received a business loan from Truliant FCU, shares his story.
With Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently promising a vote on S-2231, the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill, the decade-long struggle to raise the credit union member business lending cap appears to entering a critical phase. CUNA CEO Bill Cheney has described the vote on S-2231 as one that credit unions simply cannot afford to lose.
As credit unions marshal their forces, they are finding a familiar ally in the fight: the small business owners in NC and elsewhere who have received a loan from a credit union. In some cases, these successful entrepreneurs owe the existence of their companies to a credit union business loan.
A story in the April 2 Charlotte Observer detailed the accounts of several business owners in NC who received loans from a credit union after their bank called their loan or eliminated their line of credit. Still other business owners got involved in Sunday, April 8 stories in the Winston-Salem Journal and Raleigh News & Observer.
These public efforts are not limited to media engagement, however. Small business owners from NC traveled to Washington, DC in February to share their experiences with Members of Congress during a special Hike the Hill event.
These efforts reflect the strong relationships that credit unions have developed through the last few years with local business owners throughout NC. "When a lot of savvy people needed a loan to start a business, or successful small business owners saw banks suddenly call a loan or eliminate a line of credit, it was credit unions at the table to help," said Dan Schline, NCCUL SVP of Association Services.
Schline said that many business owners are getting involved, "despite the fact that they tell us they are not very politically engaged otherwise." He noted that with S-2231 being a critical vote that will likely determine the success of future credit union advocacy efforts, "it is gratifying to see small business owners take such bold steps for credit unions."
Business Lending Resources:
Take Action on S-2231
Groups Supportive of CU Business Lending