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Sen. Cornyn sees members biz applauds CUs efforts
SAN ANTONIO (4/9/10)--U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) visited The Bagel Factory, a small business in San Antonio made possible by a member business loan from Randolph-Brooks FCU, and applauded the credit union’s efforts in business lending. John and Suzanne Hermann said they had been turned down by several banks, but found a willing lender at the $3.75 billion asset, Universal City, Texas-based credit union (LoneStar Leaguer April 8). “So much of what we’ve heard in the recent financial crisis is that the big banks and Wall Street seem to be getting help, but what about folks at the main street level,” Cornyn told the Texas Credit Union League. “Because of regulatory concerns, rules have tightened up, perhaps, and made it harder for small businesses to get credit,” he added. “We appreciate the good work of Randolph-Brooks FCU in working with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and working with small businesses like The Bagel Factory to make [access to credit] possible.” “Business lending by credit unions is one of the better kept secrets,” said Randy Smith, CEO of Randolph-Brooks FCU. “I’m here to tell you business lending is open for business at Texas credit unions. Last year we increased our business lending by 20% and this year we hope to do even more.” The Hermanns arrived in San Antonio with experience running several coffee shops in Augusta, Ga. Originally from New York, Suzanne Hermann had a special interest in bagels and knew they would be a perfect addition to expand her coffee shops. In San Antonio, Hermann was ready to open her bagel shop but was turned away at both community and national banks there. Some institutions said they weren’t doing any business lending at all, others said they wouldn’t consider a restaurant, and Bank of America suggested the Hermanns check back when they were ready to launch their second location. “Fortunately we found help at Randolph-Brooks FCU,” said Suzanne Hermann. Randolph-Brooks helped them secure a Patriot Express Loan from the SBA in 30 days. The Bagel Factory opened on Nov. 9 and is operating well ahead of projections, thanks to access to capital from a credit union, TCUL said. “Small businesses can find it challenging during tough economic times, and sometimes these businesses don’t think of a credit union for a loan,” noted SBA District Director Pamela Sapia. “I’m proud to say that the No. 1 Patriot Express Loan lender in Texas and fourth in the nation is Randolph-Brooks FCU.”
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