WASHINGTON (5/24/12)--While the economy, taxes, energy, and environment were among the overarching topics on the agendas of small businesses participating in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-sponsored "Rally on the Hill" Wednesday, the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) small business partners had credit union member business lending (MBL) on their minds.
This week is Small Business Week, and the rally on Capitol Hill was meant to help shine a spotlight on the top concerns of the nation's small businesses, things that impact bottom line, job creation and economic growth.
CUNA's small business partners have urged federal lawmakers to increase the cap on credit union member business lending as a way to ease their unmet credit needs, and they brought that message to the Hill on Wednesday.
CUNA, credit unions and small businesses are urging the U.S. Congress to increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, up from 12.25%. CUNA estimates show that doing so would inject $13 billion in business loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs in the first year after enactment, with no cost to taxpayers.
The small-business argument in favor of more credit union lending was reflected in a recent letter to the Dubuque Telegraph Herald from a farmer who said his century-owned family farm was in jeopardy until he switch his financial dealings to a credit union.
Stan Friedman, who identified himself as a Guttenberg, Iowa farmer, wrote, "My previous financial institution was pushing me to expand my operation beyond what I could physically or financially handle. My goal of operating a sustainable business that respected the environment wasn't profitable in its eyes. I realized I wouldn't be able to work with it unless I managed my business in the fashion it expected.
"I joined a local credit union so I could run my farm in the prudent manner that fits my values and goals. Credit unions are institutions run by local folks, so it already knew my family and worked with me to tailor my loan to fit my business goal.
"My credit union didn't care if I made it money; all it cared about was that I was creditworthy and able to make my payments."
Friedman urged his senators to pass the Senate MBL bill (S. 2231). The House also has pending MBL legislation (H.R. 1418).
Earlier this week News Now reported that the small business group, Women Impacting Public Policy, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association became the two latest groups to join the fight to increase the credit union member business lending cap. Use the resource link below to access the extensive list of CUNA's small business partners.