Longview Acupuncture Clinic Stands as Monument to MBL Success Stories

High-end spas and big city acupuncture clinics have nothing on Acupuncture Northwest in Longview, Wash. The facility boasts three relaxing, state-of-the-art treatment rooms, a full line of healthy products and an infrared sauna. It’s a busy and popular place thanks to dedication and careful planning by owner Patty Kuchar.

“When I started here there was no acupuncture available in Longview,” said Kuchar. “People, however, were seeking something different for their needs.”

That was in 1997, and Kuchar was working out of a one-room office. Medical insurance plans finally recognized the benefits of acupuncture, and doctors began recommending it to complement their patients’ protocol.

“Acupuncture became really popular, really fast,” she noted, adding she needed to quickly expand.

“I went through the normal avenues with regular big banks, because at the time that was really all that was offered to me,” Kuchar recalled. “I had, you know, the normal experiences with that. It wasn’t easy being a woman and being self-employed.”

Later Kuchar started researching credit unions and landed with Fibre Federal Credit Union. Member service representatives made it easy for her to switch her accounts over and later, to get a member business loan (MBL) to expand her clinic again.

The loan enabled her to purchase and install an infrared heat sauna.

“It was maybe a day or two and I had the funds to go ahead,” Kuchar marveled. “They looked at me as a person instead of as a number. So, I was taken care of in a personal way because they knew my needs.”

Kuchar is but one example of businesses Fibre guided through the MBL process. The credit union is managing close to the 12.25 percent lending cap. Its staff has been actively advocating for passage of legislation to raise the cap to 27.5 percent of assets. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) conservatively estimates Fibre could make an additional $28 million in small-business loans in the Longview-Kelso community, creating more than 300 new jobs in the first year alone.

Kuchar is happy to vouch for member business lending at locally operated credit unions.

“The process was so much easier and friendlier especially because they are here in our community,” said Kuchar. “And they are people that you know.”

Watch this video to learn more from Patty Kuchar about how her relationship with Fibre has helped her business.

Editors’ note: The Northwest Credit Union Association continues to work toward passage of S. 2231 and H.R. 1418., both of which would increase credit unions’ capacity to issue member business loans (MBLs). The legislation would help create new jobs and strengthen the economy by giving more small businesses like Acupuncture Northwest access to capital while strengthening community ties by connecting more locally owned businesses with not-for-profit lenders in their own communities.

Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor

Posted in Advocacy News, Around the NW.