Credit unions are ahead of the curve when it comes to supporting the growth of small business.
It might seem like Coke and Target are the companies that make America’s economy go. They are big. They are dynamic. They have massive marketing budgets replete with flashy TV ads and product placement in sports arenas.
Although that much is true, those companies, and others like them, are more the body of the car that is the American economy. Small business is the engine, and the workers that come from communities large and small to staff these companies are the fuel.
The Small Business Administration is doing what it can to make get small businesses up and running. An article on CNNMoney details two new ideas to get loans to businesspeople who want to turn their dreams into companies. Here’s a rundown of the two programs.
- Small Loan Advantage: This initiative reduces the amount of paperwork and shortens the approval time for banks making SBA loans up to $250,000.
- Community Advantage: This program brings small business loans to the underserved sectors, such as minority-owned and veteran-owned businesses. The application process is quick; decisions are made in five to 10 days.
It’s good to see the government and banks working to fuel this segment of the economy. Credit unions have been performing well in this sector for some time. Third quarter 2010 data showed credit unions had almost $31 million in member business loans in their portfolios, which represented a 9.1% increase year-over-year.
A complete rundown of recent member business lending performance elucidates the movement's commitment to the engines of economic growth. Credit unions realize small businesses are what drives communities forward and improves the lives of Americans on the most fundamental level.
As the economy stabilizes, it will be even more important to preserve the bakery on the corner and the flower shop down by city hall. These two new programs will hopefully help.