NEW YORK (3/23/09)--Loosening restrictions on member business lending at credit unions would not only help small businesses access sorely needed credit, it would also encourage more credit unions to get in the game, several New York credit unions told the media. The additional $10 billion in credit nationwide that could be freed up if the cap--12.25% of total credit union assets--was lifted would constitute a considerable amount of cash that could be injected into businesses, Edward Paternostro, CEO, Nassau Educators FCU, Westbury, told the Long Island Business News (March 19). Also, easing the cap restrictions would encourage more credit unions to take part in commercial lending, Bob Allen, CEO, Teachers FCU, in Farmingville, told the newspaper. With the current cap, smaller credit unions have higher costs with business lending than they make in return on their assets, Allen said. Also, if credit unions could make more commercial loans, they could lend to micro-cap businesses--which are too small to get bank loans, he added. A higher cap would allow credit unions to put more resources, staff, marketing and technology behind business lending, Allen told the paper.