Friday, April 19, 2024

Hispanic-focused Credit Union Helps Spur Entrepreneurship

The Latino Community Credit Union in Durham, North Carolina, the largest Hispanic-focused credit union in the nation, is adding to the acceleration of Latino entrepreneurship.

Recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that Latino businesses in North Carolina grew by 135 percent between 2002 and 2007.  That number will likely grow with a micro-lending program introduced by LCCU to boost small businesses.

The credit union wants to show that Latino businesses are a good investment because they typically provide basic services minimally affected by fluctuations in the economy.  It loans up to $10,000 and avoids high-risk businesses like restaurants, preferring those with lower overhead like janitorial, construction and landscaping services.

The credit union is also willing to lend to undocumented immigrants, helping them to secure Individual Tax Identification Numbers in lieu of Social Security numbers.

Jim Blaine, CEO of the State Employees Credit Union, which is the LCCU’s partner organization said immigration is an issue for Congress and employers to solve.

“We just can’t have this large population sitting in limbo in our country,” Blaine said.

As it’s known in Spanish, La Cooperativa Latina de Credita, was founded 10 years ago in Durham to protect immigrants’ money from muggers and burglars.  This year La Cooperativa opened its 10th branch serving 53,000 members from Fayetteville to Charlotte.  Previously, the credit union focused on home mortgages, car loans and credit cards before it started the small-business program this year.

“This is the best opportunity out there,” said Kenan-Flagler professor James Johnson, who co-wrote the Hispanic economic-impact study.

The Olympian


  1. Great piece! Goes to show Latinos contribute greatly to this economy and don’t burden it like some would have you believe.