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Small biz reps to hike for MBL cap lift
WASHINGTON (2/3/12)--Small business owners, small business trade groups and business think-tank representatives will join the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions next week to press Capitol Hill-based legislators to approve a member business lending (MBL) cap increase for credit unions.

The Hill visits, which will take place on Feb. 7 and 8, are being coordinated and assisted by CUNA and selected state credit union leagues across the nation. A total of 75 small business representatives from 15 states are expected to visit their lawmakers during this small business hike.

The congressional visits are meant to show the link between small business needs for credit and credit unions' desire to help fill that need. "We want to foster an environment in which lawmakers hear and see more about this key issue for small business owners and credit unions," said CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney.

Pending bills in both the U.S. House and Senate bills would lift the current 12.25% of assets cap to 27.5%. 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.

"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.

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CUNA is also promoting this credit union/small business synergy in a series of ads that will run in Capitol Hill-focused media, including "The Daily Caller" website and The Hill, Politico and Roll Call newspapers, next week.

In a letter to Congress sent earlier this week, CUNA cited a survey by pro-business groups--The Small Business Majority, Main Street Alliance and the American Sustainable Business Council--which showed that 64% of small business owners say that the availability of credit is hindering their growth.

Ninety percent of small businesses surveyed said they support making it easier for community banks and credit unions to lend to small businesses. Approximately 525 credit unions are approaching the 12.25%-of-assets MBL cap, according to CUNA.  (See News Now Feb. 2 story, "Small biz backs more MBLs, CUNA reminds lawmakers.")

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