Credit unions and small businesses: A niche market you may be overlooking

Growing up in a very small village in Central Michigan, I learned quickly that small business owners and farmers were a strong part of the local economy and their impact on the world around us was more significant than I had ever thought.

This extends beyond my small town as well. Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy—they create jobs, foster our future by partnering with local schools, and stimulate economic growth. In recent years, their importance has been highlighted by their growing relationship with credit unions.

In my day-to-day as a Business Development Officer, I hear firsthand the ups, downs, struggles, and successes of our small business owners. There is always one common denominator that comes up: “I feel like I get nickeled and dimed at every turn.”

And really, they do. I review these businesses’ bank statements from some of the most common national banks you hear about every day. The amount of fee-charging they get hit with resembles your cell phone bill and is borderline criminal. Paired with the outrageous term loans they were nailed with when Covid hit, and no one would work with them to restructure their LOCs and it’s a recipe for financial downfall.


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