WASHINGTON (5/21/12)--With members of the U.S. House returning to their home districts for the Memorial Day district work period during this week's National Small Business Week, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said it is imperative that credit unions continue to communicate the help that they could lend to a still-recovering economy if member business lending cap increase legislation were enacted.
Two bills, S. 2231, and its House counterpart, H.R. 1418, would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of a credit union's assets, up from 12.25%. Within the first year of enactment, the increased MBL authority would help to inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA estimates show.
Credit unions have pushed hard to garner congressional support for these two bills, and a vote on the Senate legislation could come at any time. Members of the Senate will leave Washington next week for their own district activities,
Most recently, credit union advocates from North Carolina and South Carolina, and credit union leagues from each of those states, made the case for an MBL increase in visits to Washington as part of CUNA's Hike the Hill activities.
And the North Carolina Credit Union League (NCCUL) has had more help in recent weeks, as the North Carolina Association of Realtors (NCAR) urged Sens. Kay Hagan (D) and Richard Burr (R ) to "take a stand for small businesses" and support S. 2231. "The failure of many North Carolina banks to finance construction projects has been a source of great concern for our organization and our members," the NCAR wrote.
NCCUL Senior Vice President of Association Services Dan Schline said the support of the North Carolina Realtors and the hundreds of small business owners from across the state continues to demonstrate that MBL cap increase legislation "has broad based support."
This broad-based support is also evident on the national level, as several pro-business, conservative, libertarian and free-market organizations have stepped up to support increasing the MBL cap this year.
Raleigh, N.C.-based community development nonprofit The Support Center showed the help that community development credit unions and other community development financial institutions have given to small businesses in that state in a recent report, which found that while large banks have been pulling back from small business lending, credit unions and other community-based lenders have been stepping in to try to fill the lending gap.
"These financial institutions serve low-income communities and provide loans to the small businesses that, in many cases, have been turned away from mainstream banks," but they need additional public and private support to keep small businesses afloat, the Support Center said.
For the full Support Center report, and more on how you can contact your legislators and urge them to support increased MBL authority for credit unions, use the resource links.