SAN ANTONIO (5/6/08)--Credit unions' business lending scored a major media hit last weekend with an article about nontraditional options for small business borrowers. The article, which featured statistics from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) appeared in Business Week, AOL, CNBC.com, CNN.com, Forbes.com, and Tampa Tribune, among others. The Associated Press article tells about a man in Texas who spent a year developing relationships with three large banks, only to be abruptly denied a loan for his restaurant-microbrewery because the national economy had soured. He went to the credit union, and his loan was approved within two weeks. His microbrewery is set to open in October. Also discussed: Peer-to-peer lenders, including Zopa, an online social financier backed by partner credit unions. Zopa loaned to a self-employed photographer who needed $20,000 to publicize her company in San Francisco. She had been rejected by Capital One Financial Corp. and couldn't afford a pre-approved Wells Fargo & Co. credit line or credit card. The article cited these statistics from CUNA: Credit unions made almost $12 billion in new business loans last year. Total business loans at credit unions were $28 billion. The average size of the loans was $181,000. In the second half of 2007, almost 20% more business loans were distributed through credit unions than in the second half of 2006, CUNA said. That's despite the fact credit unions are limited by federal legislation in the amounts of business loans they can make. Other media carrying the AP article included San Francisco Gate, News-Leader, The Olympian, The Tennessean, and Arizona Daily Star. To read the complete article, use the link.