NEW YORK (10/24/08)--Credit unions originated $6.5 billion in business loans during the first six months of 2008, Credit Union National Association Chief Economist Bill Hampel told Business Week online. In its Wednesday article, "Small business loans from credit unions way up," Business Week noted that credit unions' increase in originating business loans is one more indicator of credit conditions for small businesses. Small business owners are turning to credit unions for financing. Business loans at credit unions are up 36% from the $4.8 billion they loaned in the first six months of 2007, Hampel said. In 2007, commercial banks originated about $287 billion in small business loans. "So credit unions, like microlenders are a relatively small source of small business lending, but with many banks in bad shape, it looks like they may be increasingly important," said the publication. The publication advised entrepreneurs to consider a credit union or microlender for financing.