WASHINGTON (3/16/10)--Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) encouraged her Senate colleagues to “free up lending” at credit unions “in every corner of America” by including S. 2919 in future job creation bills. “If we’re going to create new jobs and rebuild our economy for the long term, small businesses need more access to credit,” Gillibrand said, adding that S. 2919, which would increase the current member business lending cap of 12.25% to 25%, “would give small businesses more of the capital they need to get off the ground, grow and get thousands of Americans back to work.” The “de minimis” threshold of for MBL loans would also be increased from $50,000 to $250,000 under the bill. Gillibrand in a release last week cited Credit Union National Association estimates which state that lifting the MBL cap for credit unions would create $10 billion in new small business funding, resulting in over 100,000 new jobs, in the first year following enactment, and at no cost to taxpayers. “With the current cap on member business lending, it’s small businesses that are paying the price,” according to William J. Mellin, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of New York. “They have fewer options and, given the current credit crunch, many small businesses are finding they have no options at all.” Syracuse Fire Department FCU would itself be able to lend an additional $7 million to members with small businesses, lifting its own member business lending cap to $14 million, according to the release. In New York state, lifting the MBL cap would result in the creation of 7000 new jobs, the release added. Senator Gillibrand is working to include this legislation in the upcoming small business jobs package that will be drafted by Congress. New York State has 461 credit unions, 15 of which are in Central New York. According to the Credit Union National Association, this legislation would help create more than 7,000 jobs in New York without government expenditures. Gillibrand is one of 10 co-sponsors for S. 2919, which was introduced by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) A House version of MBL legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) late last year, currently has 99 co-sponsors.