Recently, I attended a meeting that was organized by Congressman Russ Carnahan to meet with local businesses to discuss job creation. I was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such an important conversation. Kudos to the Congressman! Here is a letter I sent to Representative Carnahan in response to the meeting.
Dear Congressman Carnahan:
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of such an important discussion regarding the dire need to create jobs in our community. Your willingness to ascertain data from those of us on the “front line” is imperative to determining the best possible legislative decisions to achieve success. I applaud your sense of urgency.
As discussed, the uncertainty of our times looms as a major concern to business growth. St. Louis businesses remain “hunkered down” lying in wait for specificity in pending legislative and regulatory direction. As a result, capital investment to grow business is subordinated to a “wait and see” approach – not good for economic growth.
A common theme during our meeting focused on the fact that credit to small business remains the catalyst for job growth. Whether in the scientific and technology community, service sector or agriculture-based initiatives, making loans available to small business and entrepreneurs will be a needed jump start to job creation.
Credit unions remain a viable alternative to providing credit to business. Many are not aware that credit unions (although a smaller player in the financial services world) help small business in providing credit. Unfortunately, credit unions are limited in our capacity to lend by an arbitrary cap on business lending at 12.25% of our total assets. There is absolutely no economic, safety and soundness or historical rationale for said cap.
Representatives Kanjorski and Royce have introduced H.R. 3380 which would raise the cap to 25% and would exempt from the cap loans made to businesses in underserved areas. This represents significant economic stimulus that does not cost the taxpayers a dime and does not expand government.
Many metropolitan area credit unions would love the opportunity to help in the economic stimulus of our respective communities. Your support of H.R. 3380 is one of the puzzle pieces that would lead to a successful recovery in our region.
Again, thank you for extending me the invitation to attend such an important meeting. Your willingness to listen and dedicated service to the region is greatly appreciated.