Credit unions and small businesses have a lot in common, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said Thursday in recognition of National Small Business Week. In a blog post on LinkedIn, Nussle called small businesses “the backbone of the American economy.”
“Credit unions, like small businesses, invest in their communities. They do this by keeping it local, knowing their members' wants and needs, and supporting their members in good times and in bad,” Nussle wrote. “Credit unions represent Main Street America, not Wall Street or the big banks who know their customers only as a number.”
Nussle said he is proud of the work America’s credit unions do on behalf of small businesses and their members, and pledged that CUNA would lead efforts to ensure credit unions can increase their support of small businesses.
“We all know credit unions did not cause the financial crisis, but you know what they did do--they kept lending to small businesses during the crisis and the slow economic recovery that has followed,” Nussle wrote. “Between the beginning of the economic downturn and year-end 2016 credit union member business loans grew at an average annual rate of 10.7%. In contrast, bank total business loans increased by an average of only 2.6% annually and bank loans to small business actually contracted at an annual rate of -1% over that period.”
Nussle pointed to recent developments, such as NCUA’s recently finalized member business lending rule, as signs that barriers are beginning to be removed.