WASHINGTON (10/28/08)—If no longer restricted by a statutory business lending cap, credit unions likely could provide $10 billion of new credit to small businesses within the first 12 months of receiving new authority, according to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). That would be in addition to the approximately $30 billion already in outstanding business loans provided by credit unions, CUNA noted. In letters being sent today to leaders of the House Committee on Small Business Committee, CUNA notes the infusion of funds by credit unions into small businesses would “provide much needed economic stimulus without costing the taxpayers a dime.” CUNA’s letter is being sent to Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and ranking minority member, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) as the small business panel conducts a hearing today on “ Creating Opportunities for Small Business in Economic Recovery.” Over the almost 100 years of credit union history in this country, member business lending was unrestricted until the 1998 Credit Union Member Access Act (CUMAA, H.R. 1151). “Credit unions with business lending experience are in a position to assist small business owners. As a part of a comprehensive approach to make credit more available to small business owners, we encourage Congress to enact legislation eliminating the decade-old cap on credit union member business lending,” the CUNA letter says. “As the economy recovers from this crisis, credit unions will continue to be there for their members. “We know credit unions cannot be the entire solution to the problems we face, but credit unions stand ready, willing and able to assist in the recovery,” the CUNA letter says.