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News Now

CU System
90 of small businesses see opportunity in recession
MADISON, Wis. (4/4/08)--Despite the current U.S. economic downturn, small businesses are prepared to cope and even grow, according to Intuit Inc.’s “Get Back to Business” survey. Credit unions serving these businesses can grow along with them. The survey indicates nine out of 10 small U.S. small business owners see opportunities in the current recession, and about 75% expect to grow (BusinessWire April 3). The survey was recently conducted for Quickbooks, which makes small-business accounting software. Two-thirds of small business owners surveyed said they have experienced economic downturns in the past and will rely on their experience and passion to grow. The majority of respondents indicated that customer retention was their No. 1 priority (63%). Their second priority was focusing on finances. “Small business owners are extremely adaptable and nimble individuals. Faced with climbing gas prices and tightening credit standards, they continually prove to be the driving force of our economy,” said Rick Jensen, senior vice president of Intuit’s small business division. “It is their unrelenting passion for serving their customers that enables small businesses to innovate and ultimately succeed in the face of any challenge the market presents them.” What does this mean to credit unions? “Clearly, credit unions share the same passion for serving their members as small businesses do,” Jon Haller, Credit Union National Association director of corporate and market research, told News Now. “Therefore, we feel there are tremendous opportunities for credit unions to measure and identify their members’ satisfaction and how members feel their credit union can better serve their needs.” Contrary to what may be the common wisdom, tight economic times are really a good time for keeping a finger on the pulse of what members may want and need from credit unions, Haller said. “People will be seeking fewer loans, so there will be a smaller pie that credit unions have out there,” Haller added. “So it’s more important than ever for credit unions to identify and shore up any product- or service-related issues that may exist.”
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