TRENTON, N.J. and WICHITA, Kan. (2/12/15)--Regional U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offices appear ready to work with credit unions as part of the recently announced initiative to help credit unions make more SBA loans.
SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and NCUA Board Chair Debbie Matz last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expand and give more small business owners greater accessibility to small dollar SBA loans from credit unions across the country.
The SBA small dollar loans do not count against credit unions' business loan cap.
Since 2011, the outstanding balance of SBA loans by credit unions has seen nearly a 50% increase, Contreras-Sweet said, to $1.2 billion from $810 million. This signals a growing demand for SBA loan programs, she said.
Kellie LeDet, the SBA's regional administrator in New Jersey, said the potential exists for credit unions to make more SBA loans and the new initiative "will help open the door." Currently, 11 New Jersey credit unions already have lending agreements with the SBA (myCentralJersey.com Feb. 11).
The SBA's Wichita, Kan. district office is also ramping up its efforts to partner with credit unions on lending, the Wichita Business Journal reported (Feb. 11). Wayne Bell, the director of the SBA's Wichita office, said goal in creating more credit union partnerships is to better serve business owners and entrepreneurs in communities underserved by traditional banks.
On Monday, CUNA Chief Operating Officer Rich Meade and representatives from the Ohio Credit Union League joined Contreras-Sweet in Cincinnati to highlight the mutually beneficial relationship between credit unions and the SBA. The purpose of the event was to build awareness for credit unions of the agency's programs and the value of credit unions as a source of credit for small businesses (News Now Feb. 11).