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CUs MBL to Culvers gains media notice
JACKSON, Mich. (8/20/12)--A member business loan (MBL) from Jackson, Mich.-based EECU helped finance the construction of a fast-food restaurant in the Ann Arbor, Mich.-area and captured the attention of two media outlets.

EECU partnered with the Michigan Certified Development Corp. and the Small Business Administration 504 loan program to help Culver's restaurant franchisee Karen Richard open a new location.

In interviews with The Jackson Citizen Patriot (MLive.com) and WLNS-TV6 News, Steve Cobb, EECU president/CEO, stressed that while EECU would like to make more MBLs, it is limited because of the current cap of 12.25% of assets.

The credit union is at about 7% to 8% percent of its MBL, Cobb said. "It kind of puts us in a tough spot," Cobb told Mlive.com.

Cobb's credit union has partnered with other Michigan credit unions to help find business loans. "For the state of Michigan, it's been a great benefit," Cobb told Mlive.

Speaking with WLNS-TV6, Cobb described legislation before Congress designed to raise the MBL cap and the impact it could have on the economic recovery.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are urging Congress to increase credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of assets. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in business loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said.

On MLive.com, reporter Tarryl Jackson solicited feedback, asking readers "Do you think legislation should allow credit unions to loan more to small businesses?"

This an opportune moment for credit unions to engage the public in conversation about MBLs, CUSG Marketing Consultant Jonathan Fuhrman, who specializes in the use of social media, told the Michigan Credit Union League (Michigan Monitor Aug. 17)

"Newspapers and other content published online are no longer about one-way communication," Fuhrman said. "The comment section of a story is where readers have the chance to have their say, and in this case, it is a prime opportunity to provide pro-credit union feedback."

Fuhrman encouraged credit union supporters to log onto the comments section and post their opinion, and to monitor ongoing dialogue.

To view the WLNS-TV6 report, use the link.
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