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Coopera discusses Latino-owned biz with lawmakers
DES MOINES, Iowa (10/5/10)--Coopera Consulting met with U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) to discuss Latino-owned small businesses and how credit unions are working to serve the youngest, fastest growing and most underserved U.S. population--Hispanics.
Click to view larger image Coopera Consulting met in with U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) to discuss Latino-owned small businesses and how credit unions are working to serve Hispanics. Pictured are, from left, first row: Velazquez and Boswell; Warren Morrow, CEO, Coopera Consulting; Felix Gallagher, CEO PharmServ Solutions. Second row: Francis Musignac, Alianza Ad Hoc; Anna Haug, client service coordinator, Coopera; Christina Fernandez-Morrow, board member, Iowa Credit Union Foundation; Melvin Rosario, Alianza vice president; Andrew Herrera, Alianza membership chair; Miriam De Dios, vice president, Coopera; Brent Helin, CEO, Des Moines (Iowa) Metro CU; Micah Kiel, Alianza president; Julie Vande Hoef, director of government affairs, PolicyWorks; Mark Killian, CEO of Community Business Lenders; and Michael Adams, vice president of marketing and public relations, Greater Iowa CU, Ames. (Photo provided by the Iowa Credit Union league)
Coopera Consulting works to educate credit unions on how to reach and serve Hispanics and how to implement solutions to meet the needs of the Hispanic community. The needs include personal, mortgage and commercial loans, remittances, prepaid reloadable cards and financial education. “Credit unions are helping economically empower the largely underserved Hispanic community,” said Warren Morrow, Coopera CEO. “Credit unions could do even more if legislation would permit it.” Credit unions offer member business loans (MBL) to Iowa businesses, but there is a statutory limit that restricts credit unions from lending beyond 12.25% of their total assets. As credit unions reach this lending cap, they are forced to turn away business owners in need of access to capital, said the Iowa Credit Union League. Increasing the MBL cap to 27.5% from 12.25% of assets would extend more than $10 billion in new capital and create 120,000 new jobs nationwide without any cost to the federal government or tax payers, the league added. During the meeting, Boswell and Velazquez agreed to contact the House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank (D-Mass.) to encourage him to host a congressional hearing on increasing the cap. The congressional visit was made possible by Alianza Latino Business Association. Members of Alianza also attended the meeting and shared how the organization assists Iowa Latino businesses and their plans for the future.
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