ALEXANDRIA, Va. (4/22/08)—Monday began National Small Business Week and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman JoAnn Johnson kicked it off by encouraging credit unions to provide prudent member business lending products. “I encourage credit unions to continue providing prudent and responsible member business lending products that help member-owners establish viable businesses, create jobs and sustain local communities,” Johnson said in a statement. The Small Business Administration dedicated April 21-25 to the nation’s small businesses. Johnson noted, “Small businesses play a crucial role in sustaining our nation’s economic vitality. In fact, they have generated 60% to 80% of net new jobs annually over the last decade and they employ about half of all private sector employees.” She added that the NCUA strives to promote a credit union environment that fosters the “entrepreneurial spirit for credit union members while maintaining a safe and sound credit union system.” “One example of this commitment is found in NCUA facilitation of webinar programs with the SBA. These sessions provide information regarding business lending services and programs administered by the SBA, including SBA 7a Guaranteed Loans, which help qualified small businesses obtain financing,” Johnson pointed out. “In addition, credit unions themselves have demonstrated a strong commitment to the small business community. Through diverse approaches such as promotion of Individual Development Accounts targeted at small businesses, business development seminars and micro-enterprise lending, credit unions are aiding the creation of community asset building and enhancing the investment environment,” she concluded. Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has declared an official week to recognize the role of America’s small business community in the nation’s economy. For more information, use the resource link below.