MONTVALE, N.J. (12/22/09)--The efforts of New Jersey credit unions to provide needed services to small businesses were featured in a Monday story in The Bergen Record. The article highlighted Cabin Crafters, a small South Hackensack, N.J., company that refurbishes corporate jet cabins, said the New Jersey Credit Union League (The Daily Exchange Dec. 21). The difficulties that Cabin Crafters’ founder and President Mario Diaz, 43, had in obtaining funds to expand and relocate with several banks were detailed in the article. Diaz finally used his personal funds to finance the project, and when the company looked for a $250,000 line of credit--as a safety net should a cash flow problem arise--he turned to a credit union. “In the current real estate market, banks are very reluctant to give out loans,” Gabriella Arrigo, Cabin Crafters’ bookkeeper, told the newspaper. Businesses like Cabin Crafters have helped New Jersey’s largest credit union, Affinity FCU, more than double the size of its business-loan portfolio this year to $100 million from $47 million, the paper said. Affinity FCU, based in Basking Ridge, N.J., has $1.98 billion in assets. “Credit unions are stepping up to make the small-business loans a lot of banks are not making now,” Paul Gentile, president/CEO of the league, told the newspaper. The article also listed issues facing credit unions--including the member business lending cap--when lending to small businesses. With legislation pending on increasing the cap to 25% of assets, the article mentioned that credit union lending to small business would provide 108,000 jobs nationwide. To read the article, use the link.