Credit unions gear up to meet small business lending needs

Jessica SarterSmall Business Lending

Ten of the biggest credit unions in Wisconsin finished in the black during 2011, exemplifying a trend that can be observed nationwide. As big banks grow more stringent in regards to small business loans, credit unions are embracing these customers with open arms, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports.

Brett Thompson, chief executive of the Wisconsin Credit Union League, anticipates this trend to continue throughout 2012 as credit unions continue to offer entrepreneurs the funding they need to expand current operations, start new businesses or simply continue as normal.

"Increased business lending: The demand is there, and so there are a lot of small businesses in need of loans, and I think credit unions are doing their best to meet that need," Thompson told the news source.

The key difference lies in the way credit unions are operated. Unlike major financial institutions, they are not-for-profit cooperatives owned by members rather than stock holders, which enables them to focus on clients first and foremost.