SAN ANTONIO (4/13/12)--San Antonio small business owners united with credit unions in the Texas community Wednesday for a joint press conference at Freetail Brewery Co. to call on lawmakers to support the measure before Congress to raise credit unions' member business lending (MBL) cap.
San Antonio business owner and Generations FCU small business lending member Kathy Carrizales talks to a local Univision reporter about the need to raise credit unions' member business lending cap to infuse more business loans into the economy. (Photo provided by Generations FCU)
They urged support of the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act (S. 2231), which would raise the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, up from the current 12.25% of assets.
"Ninety percent of small business owners have indicated that access to capital is a significant issue for them, hindering them from growing their business and hiring new employees," said Tim F. Haegelin, Generations FCU president/CEO.
"Fifty percent of Americans work for small business owners," Haegelin said. "At a time when our country is struggling to get its economy back on track, it doesn't make sense to limit responsible growth that will enable these individuals, who are the backbone of our communities, to hire workers and expand their businesses," he added.
The press conference was attended by numerous San Antonio small business owners as well as Generations FCU, Firstmark CU, United SA FCU, and Randolph-Brooks FCU.
Each of the small business owners had approached multiple banks but was unable to obtain necessary funding to grow and expand its business. However, all later received funding from their local credit unions.
The Credit Union National Association estimates that passage of S. 2231 would infuse $13 billion into the economy and create roughly 140,000 jobs nationwide. According to the credit unions present at the conference, that would include more than 8,500 jobs in Texas alone, at no cost to taxpayers and without expansion of government. Also, banks would still keep about 90% of their market share of business loans.
"The average credit union business loan is a little over $200,000," said Haegelin. "These are quite literally the loans that banks do not want to make because [the loans] are too small and because it doesn't provide enough return on investment for [the banks]."
"As not-for-profit financial institutions, credit unions can make these smaller loans. And that helps the local nail salon owner or air conditioning repairman buy equipment, expand their business and hire more workers, putting our community and our economy back to work," Haegelin said.
The vote on the S. 2231 is expected within the next two weeks.