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Landscape firm MBL extends beyond banking biz
SALEM, Ore. (12/4/12)--Valley CU's relationship with Green Acre Landscaping extends beyond just banking and business needs. But it began with a member business loan.

Green Acres Landscape has been in business 20 years. Valley CU has been the critical factor in enabling the Salem, Ore.-based company to survive the recession, Richard Kansky, president of Green Acres told the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) (Anthem Recap Nov. 29)

Green Acres was impacted by the downturn in the housing sector, Kansky told the league. The company met its profit goals by relying more on volume and a wider mix of services.

The relationship with Valley CU helped the business weather other changes in the industry that are directly related to today's economic reality, Kansky said. "It is so important to be able to sit across the table from someone who understands your business needs and has the authority to address those needs," Kansky told the NWCUA.

Valley CU demonstrated that understanding by showing flexibility and providing common-sense responses to the company's specific issues, Kansky said.

"Our customers are holding on to their money longer, and often we will not get paid for 60 or 90 days after we complete the work," Kansky said. "That creates a real cash-flow problem, but Valley understands the dynamics of the business and provides us the credit lines needed to address those delays."

Kansky had a previous relationship a major national bank, but Green Acres' credit line was slashed by nearly 70% when the economy turned sour. The bank did not make the change because of a credit issue, Kansky said. "They were just changing their policy, and we really had no recourse," he told the league. "The credit union took the time to understand our business, and it has been a great asset for us."

Today, Green Acres Landscape employs 45 people full-time, with more temporary jobs created on a seasonal basis.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are urging Congress to increase credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. CUNA and credit unions say that increasing the cap would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in business loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers.


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