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Mo. Minn. spotlight MBL benefits in meetings with lawmakers
ST. LOUIS, Mo., and ST. PAUL, Minn. (8/19/11)--Credit unions from two Midwestern states--Missouri and Minnesota--recently held in-district meetings with their congressmen during which member business lending (MBL) was the key focus.
Click to view larger image Member business lending was the focus of a recent meeting with Missouri credit unions and U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.). From left are Rick Nichols, River Region CU; Louie Delk, Conservation Employees CU; Peggy Nalls, Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA); Luetkemeyer; Joanne Nelson, United CU; Bill Mustain, Employment Security CU; and Mike Beall, MCUA president/CEO. (Photo provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association)
In a meeting with Missouri credit union representatives in Jefferson City Aug. 11, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) was urged to consider supporting the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act (H.R. 1418 and S. 509), said the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) (The Missouri Difference Aug. 16). The measure would increase credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Credit unions, their leagues and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) are urging Congress to pass the bills, which would inject $13 billion in new small business loans and help create 140,000 new jobs without cost to the taxpayer. "I have members who come up to me looking for a loan on a tractor [or] to run a side business, and each time I do that, I get closer to the MBL cap," Louie Delk, president/CEO of Conservation Employees CU, Jefferson City, told Luetkemeyer during the meeting. "By raising the limit just a moderate amount, Congress will enable credit unions like mine to help more people and stimulate the economy." The bill would create 1,676 new jobs and generate more than $154 million in business loans in Missouri, the group told the legislator. "Please consider this bill on its merits," said MCUA President/CEO Mike Beall. "It will help with job creation at a time when our country really needs it, and it is a zero-dollar stimulus. It doesn't cost taxpayers a dime."
Click to view larger image U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) gets a tour of Richfield/Bloomington CU, Bloomington, Minn., during a meeting with Minnesota credit unions to discuss member business lending. Credit unions also recently met with an official from U.S. Rep. Tim Walz's (D-Minn.) office. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
Also taking advantage of Congress' August recess were Minnesota credit unions, who met with U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Mo.) and an official from the office of U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-Mo.) in separate meetings, said the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) in a press release. On Aug. 16, credit unions provided Paulsen with an insider's look into credit union operations during a tour of Richfield/Bloomington CU in Bloomington. The tour showcased credit union philosophy and introduced Paulsen to the credit union's security features. Afterward, they discussed the importance of MBL and provided perspectives from credit union representatives, a small business owner and Bloomington's mayor. Pointing to small business as the future to a better economy, the mayor said credit union loans are necessary to keep the city's "main street" alive. On Aug. 9, another credit union group in southern Minnesota stressed raising the MBL cap during a meeting with Marcus Schmit, district director of Walz's office. Representatives asked for Walz's support of the bills raising the cap, and said it would inject $181 million into the Minnesota economy and help create 2,000 jobs there. The group also discussed future legislation on supplemental capital, which would provide credit unions an avenue for raising capital outside annual earnings. "Through our meetings with congressmen Paulsen and Walz, we were able to highlight how Minnesota credit unions can help strengthen the economy," said Mara Humphrey, MnCUN vice president, governmental affairs. "These relationships and those with other state and federal elected officials help to ensure that credit unions have friends at the state and national capitols who will advocate for them and their members." CUNA has urged credit unions to reach out to their legislative representatives while lawmakers are in their home districts during the August congressional recess. For more information, see CUNA's Action Alert link.


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