|Small business owners from NC traveled to Washington, DC as part of the Small Business Hike the Hill event this week. |
Accompanied by small business owners they have served, three NC credit unions headed to Washington, DC this week for a Member Business Lending Hike the Hill event. The first-ever event, which was coordinated by CUNA, involved representatives from small businesses and credit unions nationwide. The Hill Hike called attention to the ongoing struggles many small businesses face in accessing capital - and demonstrated that credit unions continue to stand ready and willing to lend to small business.
Representatives from Allegacy FCU, Coastal FCU and Truliant FCU made the trip to Washington, DC Tuesday and Wednesday. Three small business owners from NC accompanied the credit unions: Jim Dobbins, who owns Sharpe Interiors, Inc.; Mike Kelley, who owns Kelley Properties; and Joe Trettel, President/CEO of Permatech, Inc. Kelley, Sharpe and Trettel all spoke highly of their relationships with the credit unions over the years.
The group met with lawmakers over the course of a whirlwind 24 hour period, and shared their stories. Dobbins spoke of the frustration he felt when the community bank that Sharpe Interiors had been doing business with since 1993 suddenly called a loan last year. Working with Allegacy, Dobbins was able to get a loan through the credit union, which has enabled his successful business to continue thriving. Dobbins' story was also reported by the Credit Union Times.
The NC Credit Union League also participated in the DC trip. "Small businesses are the key to creating jobs and helping the NC economy grow, but they also face significant hurdles in accessing capital," said Dan Schline, NCCUL's SVP of Association Services. "Credit unions have been an important small business partner through the years, and will be able to assist more businesses if the Member Business Lending cap is raised."
Legislation in Congress (HR 1418 & S509) would lift the credit union member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets. Currently, the MBL cap is set at 12.25% of assets.