WASHINGTON (3/7/11)--The Michigan Credit Union League has presented Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) with its “Legislator of the Year” award for his ongoing support of credit unions in Michigan. “The No. 1 issue in Michigan is creating jobs, and our credit unions have been on the front lines of helping consumers and small businesses get access to credit during the economic downturn,” said Peters in a press release from his office. “I’ve been working to clean up Wall Street and strengthen Michigan’s economy, and I’m proud that my work has been able to help Michigan’s credit unions continue to support our small businesses,” Peters added. “Gary’s hard work on legislation like Wall Street reform and the Small Business Jobs Act showed that he understands the crucial role that Michigan’s credit unions play in creating jobs, ”Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates CEO David Adams said. Credit unions are an important source of lending for small businesses in Michigan, said the press release. The financial collapse and the long-term recession in Michigan’s economy have made it much harder for small firms to secure funds from Wall Street banks. Credit unions and other community based lenders have helped to keep credit flowing to small businesses across the state, allowing them to continue operating and creating jobs. Peters helped to pass the Small Business Jobs Act, which included legislation he authored that provides funding to states for a loan portfolio insurance program that makes it easier for credit unions and community banks to make small-business loans. Peters is also a strong supporter of legislation that would allow credit unions to offer expanded business lending opportunities to their members, said the congressman’s office.