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SBA Partners with Local Credit Unions to Boost Main Street Lending

Release Date: 
Friday, March 27, 2015
Release Number: 
15-0327KY
Advisory Date: 
Friday, March 27, 2015
Contact: 
michael.ashcraft@sba.gov

By Cassius F. Butts, Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

Small businesses are the unique cornerstones of America and the backbone of our economy. That is why it is so important for small business owners to have access to capital to start and grow their businesses.

To help bridge credit gaps for small business owners, we at the U.S. Small Business Administration are partnering with credit unions. Credit unions across the Southeast are incredibly important because they are community-based and mission focused. They have helped their members finance cars, homes, education, and of course, small businesses!

I have met with several credit union representatives across the Southeast Region, and one thing is very clear: they have the same goal as we do, which is to see small businesses grow and thrive.

With this new partnership, we are engaging 250 credit unions to approve at least 10 loans of $50,000 or less. This will inject over $125 million into the small business economy. Therefore, the economic influence of this partnership is vast.

The reach of credit unions is large as there are nearly 6,800 federally-insured credit unions with over 100 million members and around $1 trillion in assets. Additionally, this announcement is Smart, Bold, and Accessible, as credit unions providing small dollar loans do not count toward the credit unions’ business loan cap. This provides credit unions with flexibility to distribute small dollar loans, increasing access to capital to communities and fueling growth of their local economies.

This partnership is one of the many ways SBA is dedicated to creating jobs and tapping into America’s full entrepreneurial potential. We know that those who dream big, work hard, and play fair can achieve the American Dream. With the SBA, the possibilities are limitless!

On behalf of President Obama, we at SBA are committed to moving America forward by making it easier for entrepreneurs to access fundamental tools and resources to start and grow small businesses. When we strengthen small businesses, we are enhancing the overall economy, resulting in opportunities for small business owners and the middle class to flourish.

SBA has taken additional steps to boost small dollar lending, which will bolster our credit union partnership. We have streamlined credit evaluations by revising credit criteria for SBA 7(a) small dollar loans and have zeroed out fees on small dollar loans ($150,000 or less), making it easier for entrepreneurs to access capital by cutting costs and time. So explore your local credit union and ask them to stay tuned for further details on SBA’s partnership with credit unions.