Michigan Business Connection (MBC) is excited to introduce a new Small Credit Union Participation Program to the Michigan credit union community. The program was designed for “smaller” credit unions, without any specific asset size requirement.  

At its core, this program was designed to help smaller asset size credit unions succeed by leveraging collaboration. In a financial services market that is constantly evolving there is no better way to embody “people helping people” than to help credit unions diversify their loan portfolios through business loan originations and participations. MBC, a Michigan CUSO, was inspired to launch this program after hearing of  a national CUSO challenge to help smaller credit unions succeed. Bill Beardsley, president of MBC noted: “A lot of smaller credit unions have very strong liquidity and net worth but need more loan growth and earning assets. They lack the capacity to staff up to meet the needs of small business members, and have difficulty finding loan participation programs that welcome small increment participations”.  Under the program, participation increments can be as low as $25,000 and are limited to not exceed $100,000. 

Michigan Coastal Credit Union, a $22 Million credit union located in Muskegon, Michigan, is the first participant in the program. When MBC President/CEO Bill Beardsley and Michigan Coastal CEO Rob Viland first met to discuss the program, Viland knew it was an amazing opportunity for his credit union to get involved. Viland commented, “As a credit union we are always looking for new opportunities to lend and grow our expertise. MBC’s Small CU Participation Program is a perfect way for us to do just that. The program allows us to originate and participate with member business loans at an amount and frequency that makes sense for us.” 

Bill Beardsley said, “MBC is committed to providing credit unions, regardless of their size, with member business lending expertise and opportunities.” Beardsley goes on to say, “This is mission-driven, and we are significantly reducing our service charges in order to help these charters survive and hopefully grow. 2021 was the perfect time to launch this program. Traditional lending opportunities have continued to shrink and credit unions, especially smaller ones, are feeling the pressure to find additional lending opportunities. Participants of this program are not only limiting their organization’s lending risk, but they are also helping to enrich Michigan communities through positive economic development.”