This week, I had the opportunity to attend the Credit Union National Association’s annual Governmental Affairs Conference. One of the themes this year is to improve the credit union brand across the nation. Many people know that we exist, but 72% of those who know about CUs and do not use our financial services, would not consider a CU to be an option for them.
I bet the percentage would be even higher if you asked the general public about if they would consider their business needs with a credit union. That number of those who would not consider a business loan at a credit union as an option would be even higher still. Unfortunately, many in the CU industry also don’t realize that the CU can be a resource to help small businesses and agricultural producers. Too many times I have heard CUs turn down good business opportunities because they don’t do commercial loans, or the loan is too big, or the business is too hard to understand.
It is time for credit unions, members, and those-who- are-not-members-yet-but-can-be to open their eyes to the possibility of a business relationship with a credit union!
It is also time for credit unions to open their eyes for the collaborative resources of a business CUSO!
Let’s say you have no business department but want to begin to serve small businesses in you community. Perhaps you want to help business owners employ more people, make more products, and create wealth—but you don’t know where to start. Open your eyes to Pactola, as we can help create the structure for a business department with policies, procedures, and best practices.
Perhaps you already have a business department but are short on staff. Maybe it is for a short season or perhaps it is a longer season of time as you have good field lenders but not enough back office support. Open your eyes to Pactola as we can help with underwriting, document preparation, risk reviews, and government guaranteed lending.
Maybe your department is very good at either commercial or agricultural lending, but not at both. Your community and membership base are in need of you servicing both areas well. Open your eyes to Pactola as we work with both credits to finance farms and businesses.
Another scenario is that your CU has decided that utilizing governmental guaranteed lending is a good option to increase your reach, while managing your risk. Open your eyes to Pactola as we can help with SBA, FSA, and USDA Rural Development guaranteed lending.
Your biggest business member just got too big for you to handle. The company brings in the opportunity to finance a $25MM commercial real estate project and you have only the capability of taking 10%. The project is strong and has great cash flow. Don’t turn them away! Open your eyes to allowing Pactola to underwrite, syndicate, and manage the credit on our participation platform for you!
Loan demand may be slow for you. Don’t worry! Open your eyes to the possibility of helping your CU brothers and sisters finance projects they are part of by taking part of one of our loan participations.
Financing businesses, farms, and ranches is a great way to impact your community by creating jobs, growing wealth, and making the dreams come true for the owners. It is time for the CU to open their eyes to making a difference and for members and future members to open their eyes toward a CU as their trusted business financial partner. Our CUSO, Pactola, can help get you there.