MADISON, Wis. (2/22/10)--Credit unions could lend and are looking to lend more to U.S. small businesses, according to two publications. The California Credit Union League and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) support legislation that would allow expanded lending to small businesses. The California league is supporting the federal Small Business Lending Enhancement Act (House Resolution 3380 and Senate Bill 2019) that would raise credit unions’ small business lending cap to 25% of total assets from 12.25% reported the San Gabriel Valley Tribune (Feb. 19). The article also was published in the Pasadena Star-News. Whittier Daily News and USA Today featured a link to the Valley Tribune. Passage of the legislation could infuse up to $10 billion into the national economy and create more than 100,000 jobs--at no cost to taxpayers, Bob Arnould, league senior vice president of government affairs, told the newspaper. For California, raising the lending cap could potentially result in more than $2 billion in new loans, he added. “We came through this current economic crisis without any [Troubled Asset Relief Program] money,” Arnould told the paper. “We think we can create 25,000 jobs in the state of California by freeing up credit unions to expand lending.” About 180 credit unions nationwide are at their lending limit and can’t lend more unless the cap is raised, CUNA said in the Entrepreneur.com (Feb. 18). Because credit unions are nonprofits and offer lower interest rates than other financial institutions, an increase in their lending capabilities could be especially positive for small businesses, the publication said. To read the articles, use the links.