BOISE, Idaho (4/20/10)--An Idaho business magazine recently noted that raising the caps on member business lending (MBL) at credit unions in the state could help spur Idaho’s economy. U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), who is on the committee reviewing the MBL bill, told The Idaho Business Review that businesses in Idaho have shared with him the difficulty they’ve had in securing the loans they need for their businesses. “By raising the cap on credit union member business lending, we can help ensure that they have access to the credit they need to do so,” Simpson told the newspaper. Lifting the caps on member business lending at credit unions--to 25% from 12.25%--could help spur the economy, said Valerie Brooks, director of regulatory and governmental affairs for the Idaho Credit Union League. “If a small business can borrow the capital it needs to expand, it would make sense to help that business to grow, thus being able to hire additional employees,” Brooks told the newspaper. Brooks added that the cap increases are necessary because some credit unions have made loans above $50,000, which means the loans must be reported to federal regulators and applied toward the credit unions’ lending cap. Idaho Advantage CU, Boise, has been offering small business loans since fall 2009. Pat Vaughn, president, said the program is aimed toward “mom-and-pop businesses.” “I think we do a much better job of handling these small business loans than some banks,” he said.