HELENA, Mont. (8/19/15)--Montana credit unions have markedly stepped up member-business lending activity recently, according to the Montana Credit Union Network in its recent Network News report.
“From a veterinary clinic in Ekalaka to a grocery store in Scobey and a restaurant in Circle, credit unions across the Big Sky showcase a commitment to the communities they serve by lending to small businesses in their backyards,” the league said.
The report details a number of examples of credit union members that looked to their credit unions to take out loans for their business ventures.
For example, when Mindi Byrne decided to open her own veterinary clinic in Ekalaka, she said that, as a longtime member of Community 1st FCU, Miles City, there was something comfortable about working with an institution already familiar with her financial background.
“Even if rates were the same at another place, I’d go with my credit union,” Byrne said. “It’s much more of a personal experience. Everyone at the credit union really goes out of their way to help.”
Brenda Pawllowski, who owns a bar in Circle, reported similar feelings about McCone County FCU, Circle, when thinking about the decision on where to attain financing for her business in recent years.
“Round Towne is very family-oriented, diverse and has strong local support,” Pawllowski said. “No matter where we lived, we’ve always been members because (the credit union) is always very helpful, supportive and responsive.”
Nationally, credit unions could make an even greater difference in their communities if they could lend more than the 12.25% cap on assets for business loans currently allows.