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ASI FCU launches small business coalition
NEW ORLEANS (9/1/11)--ASI FCU, with $302 million in assets, Harahan, La., is launching a coalition of non-profits to unveil Kiva New Orleans, a program that engages local residents to rebuild New Orleans by making microloans to local small businesses. Kiva New Orleans represents Kiva’s second locally organized initiative in the U.S. and the continuation of its nationwide “Kiva City” program, said the Louisiana Credit Union League (eNews Aug 31). The program allows the people of New Orleans and their supporters to lend as little as $25 to local small businesses. The Kiva New Orleans program is a coalition among three nonprofits:
* ASI FCU, which will work with the small businesses referred by Good Work Network, underwrite microloans, analyze loans for risk and administer approved loans. * Good Work Network, which will educate, coach and support small-business owners to help them improve their skills, realize their full potential and become active participants in the local economy. * Kiva.org, which will feature New Orleans-based borrowers on the Kiva.org website to allow the city residents and the broader Internet community to invest in and champion the success of New Orleans businesses, $25 at a time.
The coalition also includes three business partners.
* Generation Louisiana, a local business development and public relations consulting firm, will work to engage the local community; * KEEN, maker of hybrid footwear, bags and socks, will provide up to $77,000 out of its HybridLife Hope Fund to sponsor a matching fund where individual loans to Kiva New Orleans’s small businesses are matched dollar-for-dollar on Kiva.org; and * Entergy Corp., an energy company engaged primarily in electric power generation and retail distribution operations, is a major media sponsor of the nonprofit collaborative that comprises Kiva New Orleans.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are pressing Congress to increase credit unions’ member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in loans to small businesses into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said.


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