SBA Wants More CU Members

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. - (03/24/05) -- Top administrators with the U.S.Small Business Administration urged area credit union executivesduring a visit here Tuesday to join the SBA's guaranteed loanprogram, one of the fastest ways to helping community businesses."My message to you is we want more. We want more creditunions...You are a critical way for us to get to all of thesecommunities, especially these fast growing segments of smallbusiness," Hector Barreto, head of the SBA, told about 65 areacredit union executives during a Tuesday meeting at WesCorp FCU.Baretto said the number of credit unions participating in the SBAprogram has more than tripled over the last two years to about 200,providing as much as $100 million in federally guaranteed loans tosmall businesses for this year. "And I really believe that we'rescratching the surface," he said. In conjunction with the visit byBaretto and other top SBA officials, WesCorp FCU and the CaliforniaCU League said they are planning a seminar to help credit unionslearn how to qualify for SBA-approved lender status.

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