WASHINGTON (11/19/09)--Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills promised increased cooperation with credit unions and small banks as a means of increasing small business activity. Mills spoke during a Department of the Treasury Small Business Financing Forum held Wednesday in Washington. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also spoke during the forum, which was attended by over 100 small business owners, government officials, legislators, and others, saying that the U.S. government needs to work to “support those who support small businesses.” Geithner also encouraged Congress to work to “create the conditions” that will allow small financial institutions to “participate” in the “efforts to promote small business lending.” National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz was also in attendance, but did not speak at the forum. Also attending: the Credit Union National Association’s Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magill, who in a submitted question asked if the Obama administration, which has indicated that job creation is a top priority, would support raising or eliminating the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap. CUNA has steadfastly supported MBL legislation which, if passed, would enable credit unions to continue to provide up to $10 billion in funds to credit union member-owned small businesses within one year and would create an estimated 108,000 new jobs. HR 3380, the Promoting Lending for America's Small Business Act, would increase the MBL cap to 25% of a credit union's total assets, would raise the "de minimis" threshold for a loan to be considered a "member business loan" to $250,000, and would exempt loans made to non-profit religious organizations as well as loans made in qualified underserved areas from the cap. The legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.), is currently awaiting Congressional action.