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Iowa pizza place owner CUs help fuel American dreams
DES MOINES, Iowa (4/13/12)--Credit unions are a key to helping small businesses operate, and as such, they should be allowed to provide more loans to small businesses than currently allowed under the federal member business lending (MBL) cap, an owner of several pizza stores in Iowa wrote Thursday in a letter to the editor of the Des Moines Register.

"As a small business owner, I agree with the phrase, 'small businesses are the engine of our economy,'" wrote Brad Loney, who owns Little Caesar's Pizza stores. "I also know my small business engine wouldn't be running without the critical fuel provided by my Iowa credit union. I am the proud owner of pizza-franchise outlets, with locations in Fort Dodge, Newton and West Des Moines. None of this would have been possible had it not been for Community Choice CU [based in Johnston, Iowa]."

Loney wrote that he personally met with nearly every banker in Central Iowa and also sent his business plan to 12 other banks, and was told in each instance that even though his business plan was good, they weren't lending.

"Community Choice reviewed my business plan and saw the potential of my business," Loney explained. "But more important, it understood that I had a dream. It was willing to loan my business money when the banks wouldn't.

"I now employ more than 40 people in Iowa and hope to continue to expand," he added. "Because my credit union experience has been so positive, I've gone back to it for my home loan as well."

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are urging Congress to increase credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said.

To read the letter, use the link.
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