SMITHFIELD, R.I. (3/3/15)--Credit unions may still be grappling with a tight member business lending cap, but they continue to make the most of the space they have. A Rhode Island couple running a very specialized business can attest to that first hand.
In 2002, Robin and Gary Moorehead started a unique embroidery business specializing in custom stitching for apparel worn by dogs and their handlers during dog shows (Providence Business News Feb. 28).
After years of traveling the country following the American Kennel Club dog show circuit with the same three commercial embroidery machines, the Mooreheads decided they needed to update their equipment.
But it wasn't until they applied at Navigant CU, Smithfield, R.I., that they were approved for the loan to pay for the new machines.
"The big banks didn't want to hear my stories," Robin Moorehead told Providence Business News. "(Navigant) made me feel like I was important."
CUNA continues to push for Congress to raise the cap on credit union member business loans, which sits at 12.25%.
On Monday, with strong CUNA support, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) reintroduced a bill--called the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Creation Act--to raise the member business lending cap for qualified credit unions to 27.5%. (See related story: CUNA-backed MBL bill reintroduced to raise cap to 27.5%.)
Regardless of where the cap sits, however, Navigant continues to maximize its lending ability for members.
"Our commercial lending isn't multimillion dollar customers, it's the mom-and-pop customers," Timothy J. Draper, Navigant vice president of marketing, told Providence Business News. "Our model hasn't changed dramatically in 100 years."