RENO, Nevada (9/6/13)--Great Basin FCU in Reno, Nev., recently hosted a free Small-Business Workshop at its main branch to help area business owners as the economy recovers from the recession. Those business owners are seeking new opportunities to help their businesses grow and thrive.
| Marcy and Emily (from left)--a mother-daughter team from Reno looking to start their own business--meet with Great Basin FCU Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Denoo and Small Business Administration Reno Branch Manager David Leonard. (Photo provided by Great Basin CU)|
The $126 million asset credit union said it was heartened by the overwhelming interest from members and the community to attend the workshop. Nearly 30 business owners and budding entrepreneurs were in attendance. Speakers included Jennifer Denoo, chief operations officer at Great Basin in charge of the business loan program, as well as David Leonard from the Small Business Administration (SBA) of Northern Nevada.
Leonard discussed the various SBA loan types and special programs available to business owners. "Many folks are not aware of the incredible counseling and outreach centers available right here in our area," he explained. "From SCORE [The SCORE Association "Counselors to America's Small Business" is a nonprofit association comprised of 13,000-plus volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories], to the Nevada Small business Development Center, to special programs for veterans, there really is a lot of assistance out there available to help our local businesses succeed."
Several attendees said they were excited to learn about the specialty programs they qualify for. "I had no idea that I qualified for several categories to which I can apply," said one attendee.
"I wasn't aware of the HUB Zones prior to the workshop. I'm also glad to know my credit union offers SBA loans," another said.
"So many of our own members came to learn about the vast amount of resources available to them and their businesses," Denoo said. "We really want them to know we are here to be their partner in business. They don't have to figure this all out on their own. Big or small, established or just in the planning phase--we can help them navigate and succeed."
The Credit Union National Association and credit unions are pressing Congress to increase credit unions' member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said.