WASHINGTON (2/16/10)--A banner headline Washington Business Journal article noted that credit unions are working to fill the lending void left by financial institutions that have cut back on loans. The article notes the lending activities of Mid-Atlantic FCU, Germantown, Md.; Apple FCU, Fairfax, Va.; Signal Financial FCU, Kensington, Md.; and Lafayette FCU, also in Kensington (Feb. 12). Apple FCU, for example, made $15 million in business loans in 2009. The credit union is working to double that to $30 million this year and plans to add a fourth employee to its business services department next month, the Journal said. Many bank lenders are “too conservative with SBA lending,” according to Frank Amantia, president of Mid-Atlantic Financial Partners, a credit union service organization affiliated with Mid-Atlantic. “Some lenders say they just won’t lend to any restaurants,” Amantia told the Journal. “Well, some restaurants have been around for 100 years. We take the time to dig down and understand the circumstances.” The newspaper also noted that credit unions are lobbying to increase their business lending cap to 25% of assets from 12.25%. Signal Financial, Mid-Atlantic and Lafayette are close to the cap.