NEW YORK and MADISON, Wis. (10/2/09)--Credit unions' ability to offer member business loans can help small businesses in a tightening market, Credit Union National Association senior economist Mike Schenk told a public radio audience on "Marketplace." He was interviewed Wednesday as part of a story about business lending becoming rarer, now that the CIT Group--the nation's largest lender to small and medium sized businesses--is scrambling to work out a deal with its bondholders to stay out of bankruptcy. CIT, which lends up to 70% of the funds businesses borrow, had earlier received $2 billion in funds from the federal government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). If that deal doesn't gel, CIT would become one the of biggest bankruptcies in the nation. A CIT failure would jolt the still-fragile economy, Schenk told senior business correspondent Bob Moon. "It would more than likely cause some small businesses to go out of business themselves. The key for any small business at this point is to be looking for alternatives." Schenk said there aren't many places for small businesses to go to get loans. Credit unions can help businesses with some types of business loans. "We keep stepping to the plate and helping these folks out as much as we can. Loans at credit unions--business loans--actually grew 14% in the 12 months ending June." For the full story, use the resource link.