WASHINGTON (2/7/12)--The Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) first-ever small business/credit union "Hike the Hill" event begins today with a briefing and reception in Washington, D.C. Also, the goal of the Hike--to have small business representatives help demonstrate the link between small business' needs for credit and credit unions' desire to help fill that need--will be spotlighted in a Wednesday press conference on Capitol Hill.
That press conference, which will be hosted by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), will take place in the Rayburn building of the U.S. Capitol at 11:00 a.m. (ET). Several small business owners, and representatives from small business trade groups and business think-tanks, will participate alongside credit union representatives at the press conference.
The small-business "Hike" is a two-pronged advocacy effort. Visits with federal lawmakers are planned for today and Feb. 8. Meanwhile, additional small business s and credit union representatives will be conducted state and district level advocacy activities.
A total of 75 small business and credit union representatives from 15 states are expected to visit their lawmakers in their House and Senate offices during the hike.
The small business advocates will tout the benefits of H.R. 1418 and S. 509, two bills that would increase the current 12.25% of assets credit union member business lending cap to 27.5%. Royce is the main sponsor of H.R. 1418.
CUNA has estimated that lifting the MBL cap would inject $13 billion in extra funds into the economy in the first year after enactment, helping small businesses create 140,000 new jobs at no cost to taxpayers.
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said the aim of the hike is to "foster an environment in which lawmakers hear and see more about this key issue for small business owners and credit unions."
"We are hopeful that a vote to allow credit unions to help small businesses will occur soon--and that lawmakers will be armed with all of the facts when the votes come due," Cheney added.