COLUMBUS, Ohio (11/10/15)--The Ohio Credit Union League (OCUL) has been working closely with leaders in the State Legislature in crafting a bill that would provide credit unions with access to funds from the treasurer’s office to facilitate small business lending.
Soon to be introduced, the legislation creates a new program, called Business Link, and will be sponsored by State Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton). The program would be similar to an existing program that enables small business owners to receive interest-rate reductions on new or existing small business loans (eLumination Nov. 4). While the existing program is for banks, Business Link would be used specifically by credit unions.
“OCUL took a look at what’s important to credit unions and we see a lot of increased small business lending in our state,” Patrick Harris, OCUL director of legislative affairs, told News Now. “There are 3 million credit union members in Ohio and roughly 100 credit unions have at least a single small business loan on the books. They should have access to the same programs that banks do in an effort to create jobs and stimulate the economy.
“We sat down with one of our most powerful state representatives and found a way to do that. We thought a program specifically for credit unions would be the best route.”
Between Schuring’s strong support and league advocacy staff canvassing the State House--engaging representatives of both parties and candidly asking for their support--the bill already has 33 co-sponsors, a third of the Ohio House.
“A bill introduced by a seasoned legislator and having garnered a large number of co-sponsors, like this one, tends to gain more traction in the legislative process,” said Harris. “The momentum that’s been created for this credit union-empowering legislation is the league’s new level of aggressive advocacy work.”