NEW YORK (1/27/09)--Four New York City credit unions are participating in Affordable Loans for Immigrants, which offers business loans to immigrants who live or work in the city, while big banks are cutting loans to “mom and pop” businesses because of the financial crisis. The program makes business loans, ranging from $500 to $500,000, available to immigrants in the city’s five boroughs (New York Daily News Jan. 25). Brooklyn (N.Y.) Cooperative FCU approved a $15,000 loan for emergency repairs so Esmeralda Valencia could reopen Esmeralda’s Restaurant. The $7.4 million asset credit union approved the loan in three days after the restaurant’s exhaust fan broke. Other New York City credit unions participating in the program include: the $22.6 million asset Lower East Side Peoples FCU, the $8.2 million asset Union Settlement FCU, and the $7.5 million asset Neighborhood Trust FCU. While some immigrants fear going to banks because they don’t have Social Security numbers, the credit union will work with them if they qualify for loans and obtain Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, the newspaper said. The credit unions have money to lend. Most of the money Lower East Side People’s lends belongs to members, Linda Levy, credit union CEO, told the paper.