updated 06/03/13 03:39 PM
Fed, State Officials Participate
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues hosted a focus group last week with the U.S. Treasury Department's State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), with participation from nine credit unions that either currently engage in small business lending or recently entered the market.
SSBCI program representatives included Jeff Stout, deputy director of SSBCI for the Treasury Department; Dan Apodaca, program manager of the California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program (SBLGP); Nancee Trombley, program manager of the California Capital Access Program (CalCAP); and Barbara Vohryzek, deputy director and small business advocate for the California Office of Business and Economic Development.
The SSBCI requested the meeting to hear from credit unions that do, and do not, participate in these programs in an effort to gather actionable feedback it can use to enhance the programs and increase participation. The agencies requested comment on what works well, what does not, and whether burdens or obstacles exist that prevent participation.
After Apodaca and Trombley gave an overview of their respective programs, the SBLGP, CalCAP, and Collateral Support Program, the credit union representatives participated in a lively and informative discussion on the pros and cons of the programs and how they compare to Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 and 7a loans. Credit unions currently participating in the state programs had positive comments, saying the process is simple, fast, and flexible in that some business owners who “have experienced life” and wouldn’t qualify for traditional lending—or even an SBA loan—may qualify for one of these state programs.
Representatives from credit unions not participating in these programs said they had little to no knowledge or understanding of the programs. Everyone left the meeting with a better understanding and an interest to learn more.
“It was good to hear first-hand the specifics on how the program is being received," Apodaca said. "Also, we need to make sure more is done on our part to market the program more effectively."
Small Business Lending Fair
On a side note, the California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is hosting the first-ever California Small Business Lending Fair in Los Angeles on June 13. The event is designed to educate lenders—including credit unions—on various programs available that expand access to credit for small businesses.
Click here for more information on the Small Business Lending Fair.
Additional Resources
Click here for information regarding CalCAP, or the CalCAP Collateral Support programs.
Click here for more information on the SBLGP program.
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