It's not because credit unions don't want to make those loans; Congress has limited how many they can make to small business owners.
Before a law was passed in 1998, there was no cap on how much money credit unions could lend businesses. Now there's a limit.
"They put that cap in there at
12.25 percent of your assets or 1.75 of your net worth, and we're at that
cap," says Judy Hadsall, owner and
Shaheen Motlagh owns Rosati's Pizza. He opened it two years ago, but not very easily.
"First I tried some of the banks, and was just turned down. The loan was too small. They didn't want anything to do with it."
Justin Hurst is the third generation owner of Kiddie Karts Ice Cream.
"My grandpa actually just started it as an entrepreneurial idea, and just kind of ran with it."
But he too struggled with getting the money he needed.
"He basically said, 'I wouldn't be here today if it wouldn't be for the credit unions, because I got turned down by the banks.'"
Motlagh says being turned away for a loan is just one of many challenges of being a small business.
"It's a big struggle. The bigger chains, the cheaper pizza. They have a lot more money to spend on advertising than I do."
He says although it's tough to keep up with larger businesses, there is something special about being a small restaurant.
"I know most of my customers by name. That would be the biggest factor. I'm here every day, so I get to know them."
"The industry is kind of part of American culture and we're just tying into that. In the Ozarks it's not just the ice cream man, it's the ding ding man. It's Kiddie Karts coming down the road."
He says his employees run the same routes and really get to know their customers.
"I think that helps us really tie into the community and the community wants us there rather than other competitors."
Its small businesses like these that need help getting up and running. But once they're started, Hadsall says they give back more than they ever received.
"We can create jobs because as you know, small business owners create jobs, create economic value to our economy here locally and nationwide."
She says if it's truly a good business loan, whether it is a credit union or a bank, it should be available.
"Somebody needs to help these small business people get started and get on their feet and grow this economy back to where it needs to be."
But those who represent the banking industry say it's not a level playing field.
"So that is the life blood of community banking, and a non-taxed entity like a credit union just compounds our ability to stay in business and compete," says Jerry Sage, Executive Director of Missouri Independent Bankers.
Hadsall says credit unions aren't asking too much.
"We're not trying to go to 100 percent; we're just trying to get to 27.5."
"Community banks do pay taxes in this day's fiscal crisis at the federal level," says Sage. "We need all the income we can get from tax paying businesses like banks. Credit unions do not pay federal taxes. And we compete head to head with those folks every day, so it limits the amount of small business lending."