5 Advantages of a Credit Union for Small Business Banking

April 21, 2023

Small businesses are feeling the pressure of inflation. In tough economic times, businesses should be able to rely on their financial institutions for support. Unfortunately, most business owners report feeling dissatisfied with their bank.

Meanwhile, credit unions have a high customer satisfaction rate. In fact, 87% of businesses that borrowed from credit unions say they’re satisfied with their service. This satisfaction rate for credit unions is higher than any other type of lending institution.

Choosing your financial partner is a crucial decision. Although big banks may seem like the default option, credit unions consistently report higher customer service satisfaction. As Maryland’s largest credit union, SECU offers a wide range of advantages for small businesses. Read on to uncover five reasons why you should consider a credit union for small business services.

Credit union vs. commercial bank: which is right for my business?

Not sure what to look for in a bank for your small business? Your financial partner should offer flexible loan terms that can be tailored to your business’s unique requirements. They should also have a strong reputation demonstrating their commitment to customer service.

Most importantly, they should be invested in your success. Evaluate the resources available to you. These could include financial planning, educational resources, and access to additional funding or credit lines as your business expands.

What are the advantages of a credit union as a small business owner?

Local Focus and Personalized Service

Credit unions like SECU are community organizations that prioritize our members, including small businesses, in the local area. With 25 branches across Maryland and hundreds of local employees, we understand the unique needs and challenges faced by small businesses.

Unlike big banks that often use a one-size-fits-all approach, we take the time to understand your specific needs. We always provide tailored solutions to our members – whether they’re located on the Eastern Shore or in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Our team members have an unmatched understanding of Maryland’s small business climate. Plus, we live in the communities where you do business. That’s why we’re uniquely committed to serving the local community – through excellent service and support for local causes.

Since Maryland is a major hub for healthcare businesses, SECU also offers commercial lending opportunities designed for businesses in these industries. Explore business lending opportunities.

Lower Fees and Better Rates

One of the biggest differences between banks and credit unions is our ownership. Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives owned by their members. This model enables us to make offering affordable rates a top priority. It should come as no surprise that small business owners report lower fees and better rates could motivate them to switch financial institutions.

The cost of running a small business is higher in Maryland than in other states in the mid-Atlantic area. Ultimately, selecting a credit union as your financial partner can translate into cost savings and higher earnings for small businesses.

Access to Credit and Financing

One of the most basic steps you take as a business owner is acquiring funding. Whether you’re building a startup or opening a new location, it’s likely that you’ll need a loan. Unfortunately, many business owners are unsatisfied with the loan process. Dissatisfaction with loan terms and the financial institution at large has made the process more challenging.

Credit unions and community banks consistently report the highest customer satisfaction in commercial lending. Plus, credit unions typically offer business loans with favorable terms. Borrowers often receive lower interest rates and longer repayment periods, which can benefit small businesses with limited cash flow.

Financial Education and Resources

Credit unions are committed to building financial literacy through education. Like SECU, many offer free resources, workshops, and even financial counseling to help members, including small businesses, improve their financial wellness. This can be particularly beneficial for small businesses. Experts offer guidance on managing cash flow, budgeting, tax planning, and other financial aspects of their operations.

Our Virtual Financial Center advisors work with consumers and small business owners, offering advice on complex money matters. We take the time to get to know your business and your unique challenges. Free financial counseling can be valuable for small businesses facing economic challenges. You can even make these valuable resources available to your employees through the Bank at Work program.

Find out what happens when you connect with one of our counselors in our interview with Virtual Financial Center Manager, Tracy Matula.

Integrated financial solutions

In addition to banking and lending services, SECU also offers HR administration, merchant card processing, and other small business resources. These solutions can simplify your daily operations, even allowing you to make fewer trips to the teller line. 

Financial services for small businesses include:

  • Merchant processing: Accept all major credit and debit card payments, including ApplePay.
  • Payroll and HR administration: Leverage employee pay services, retirement plan administration, and more, so you can focus on running your business.
  • Remote deposit: Use our secure portal to deposit checks from your office.
  • Bank at Work: Offer a no-cost benefit that is highly valued by your employees.

Explore SECU small business services.

SECU meets your business banking needs

At SECU, our members can always expect personalized service, lower fees, and better rates. Although our footprint now spans across Maryland, we’ve never forgotten where we started — on a borrowed desk and chair.

Enjoy a supportive and cooperative banking relationship that aligns with your values and needs. And contribute to the growth and prosperity of your local community.

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