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Wisconsin credit unions honored for helping small businesses


Wisconsin credit unions have been honored with a Friend of Small Business Award from Wisconsin Business Development, a not-for-profit economic development organization that helps small businesses gain access to capital to grow jobs, businesses and communities.  

"Credit unions take very seriously their role in strengthening Wisconsin through their support of small businesses," said Brett Thompson, President & CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League.

The accolade was presented at the third annual Friends of Small Business luncheon in Madison. There to accept the honor were, L to R:  Kim Kalepp - Managing VP-Business Services, Summit CU' Adam Newman - VP-Business Lending, Landmark CU;  Jim Holden - VP-Business Services, Summit CU; Dan Milbrandt - SVP, Chief Lending Officer, Summit CU; Jason Herlitzke - SBA Administrator, Summit CU; Julie Haberkorn - VP-Business Services, Summit CU; David Hall - EVP, Chief Development Officer, Wisconsin Credit Union League; Joseph Wolfe - CEO, Wisconsin Business Development; Dana Hoffmann - VP-Business Services, Summit CU;  Scott Hoerth - VP-Business Services, Summit CU;  and Sarah Wainscott - Government Affairs Specialist, Wisconsin Credit Union League.


"With a majority of Americans employed by small businesses, credit unions recognize that the loans, lines of credit, checking and other financial services they provide to small businesses fuel the economic engine of our state, helping Wisconsin workers, families and communities thrive."

"Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives that serve only their member-owners instead of shareholders," Thompson added. "During the past several years, this unique ownership distinction that puts people before profits has meant the difference between extinction and survival for countless Wisconsin businesses."

Credit unions, which have been making business loans for more than 100 years in the U.S., hold $2.5 billion in outstanding loans to Wisconsin’s small businesses, with an average loan size of around $180,000. Although credit unions account for a mere 6.2% of the business lending market of Wisconsin-based financial institutions, their role has increased in importance in recent years as small businesses have found it more challenging to access needed credit.


Fostering service excellence is a key action area as part of credit unions' nationwide "Unite for Good" growth strategy. As part of that action area, credit unions are encouraged to develop a variety of loans and savings products for members. Credit unions have made loans to small business members throughout their more than 100-year history in the U.S.


The Unite for Good effort is an internal growth strategy developed by CUNA in conjunction with its Board, state leagues, credit unions and system partners. The plan's action steps – to remove barriers, increase awareness and foster service excellence–are aimed at helping more credit unions become their members' primary financial institution by compelling members to see credit unions as their best financial partner. Read more articles in our Unite for Good series.

©2005 Wisconsin Credit Union League. All rights reserved.
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