WASHINGTON (12/30/10)—Credit unions were among “financing trends for 2011” noted in a recent Reuters article that told small business owners that credit unions could be among the forces that have a real impact on financing needs in the coming year. “These cooperative financial institutions are among the most active in making smaller loans to entrepreneurs and have only gotten busier in recent years, according to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA),” the article noted. “(NCUA) figures show credit unions made more than $33 billion worth of business loans in 2009, up from $12 billion in 2004.” Reuters pointed out the lower default rates of credit unions loans, and noted that rates and terms that “are often better than traditional banks,” according to the NCUA and even federal-bank-regulator, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The article informs readers that they have to be a credit union’s member to obtain a loan. The other trends mentioned in the article were microlending, the “slow-money movement,” where investors use patience to get returns from “socially responsible companies,” “bootstrapping,” which is when an entrepreneur taps personal savings, gets vendors to front start-up supplies for delayed payment terms, hits up friends and relatives, or uses one money-making venture to fund another, and, finally, even “crowdfunding,” a term used to describe when a large group of people help fund a project or business by clustering small donations.