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Letter to Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez and Ranking Member Chabot Regarding Microloan Program

Letters to Congress

Letter to Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez and Ranking Member Chabot Regarding Microloan Program

June 11, 2007

The Honorable Nydia Velázquez
Chairwoman, Small Business Committee
2361 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairwoman Velázquez:

I am writing on behalf of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) to thank you for scheduling a hearing this week on the importance of microloans to small businesses. CUNA is the nation's largest credit union advocacy organization, representing over 90% of our nation's approximately 8,800 state and federal credit unions, their State credit union leagues, and their 89 million members.

Many credit unions have extensive experience in making very small loans to members to fund part- time or second businesses. These small loans are typically not offered by traditional financial institutions. Although microlending has gained increased recognition on a global scale, it remains relatively unknown in the United States. In many respects, credit unions have been a leading source of microloans for very small businesses for many years.

As part of our testimony in support of your legislation, the Small Business Lending Improvements Act of 2007 (H.R. 1332) on March 8, 2007, we encouraged the Committee to use this expertise by permitting qualified credit unions to serve as non-profit community based intermediaries for purposes of obtaining funding under the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Microloan program and making loans to eligible borrowers. CUNA believes that, at a minimum, credit unions should be able to serve jointly as intermediaries with other non-profit organizations, quasi-governmental agencies or tribal organizations. We further urge that credit unions that qualify as intermediaries be permitted and encouraged to assist all potential microloan borrowers in the local area without regard to the credit union's specific field of membership.

Once again, CUNA appreciates your leadership in bringing this important topic before the Small Business Committee. We look forward to working with you on increasing microloans through specific legislative proposals for America's small businesses.

Sincerely,
Daniel A. Mica
President & CEO




June 11, 2007

The Honorable Steve Chabot
Ranking Member, Small Business Committee
B-363 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Ranking Member Chabot:

I am writing on behalf of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) to thank you for scheduling a hearing this week on the importance of microloans to small businesses. CUNA is the nation's largest credit union advocacy organization, representing over 90% of our nation's approximately 8,800 state and federal credit unions, their State credit union leagues, and their 89 million members.

Many credit unions have extensive experience in making very small loans to members to fund part- time or second businesses. These small loans are typically not offered by traditional financial institutions. Although microlending has gained increased recognition on a global scale, it remains relatively unknown in the United States. In many respects, credit unions have been a leading source of microloans for very small businesses for many years.

As part of our testimony in support of your legislation, the Small Business Lending Improvements Act of 2007 (H.R. 1332) on March 8, 2007, we encouraged the Committee to use this expertise by permitting qualified credit unions to serve as non-profit community based intermediaries for purposes of obtaining funding under the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Microloan program and making loans to eligible borrowers. CUNA believes that, at a minimum, credit unions should be able to serve jointly as intermediaries with other non-profit organizations, quasi-governmental agencies or tribal organizations. We further urge that credit unions that qualify as intermediaries be permitted and encouraged to assist all potential microloan borrowers in the local area without regard to the credit union's specific field of membership.

Once again, CUNA appreciates your leadership in bringing this important topic before the Small Business Committee. We look forward to working with you on increasing microloans through specific legislative proposals for America's small businesses.

Sincerely.

Daniel A. Mica
President & CEO

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