Allow Credit Unions to Expand Lending to Their Business Members

UPDATE AS OF 1/3/13:
The Small Business Lending Enhancement Act (S. 2231) was introduced in the 112th Congress, which has now adjourned. No action was taken on the bill and it has not yet been reintroduced. To track this bill and others, please visit the Congress-Bills page at govtrack.us for more details.


What is the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill (S. 2231)? 
Credit unions have money to lend to America’s small businesses, but they need your help. Senate Bill 2231 would allow credit unions to grant more small-business loans. If passed, this legislation will free up credit unions to help small businesses create as many as 140,000 jobs and could provide up to $13 billion to small businesses in the first year alone—at no cost to taxpayers. Originally expected to receive a vote in the Senate on April 16, 2012, as of mid-November the bill is back on the Senate floor being discussed and a call for a vote has not yet been made. Please check back later for an update.

What does S. 2231 do?
This bill would raise the credit union member business lending cap from 12.25 percent of assets to 27.5 percent for eligible credit unions and task the National Credit Union Administration with writing safety and soundness regulations to implement the added authority. To be eligible, a credit union would have to be at or near its current cap, have at least five years’ experience in member business lending and be in a strong capital position.

Credit unions are sophisticated not-for-profit financial institutions with a track record of making responsible lending decisions.  In fact, credit unions began doing agricultural loans and had no legislative member business lending cap until it was lobbied for and obtained by the banking community in 1998. Today, much of the country’s business is driven by small businesses and credit union members want to use their credit unions for their business loan needs as well. Credit union members deserve the choice to use their credit unions for their small business loan needs too.

Supporting this bill is a vote in favor of America’s small businesses and a vote for America’s credit unions, but your senators need to hear from you. They are hearing from the banks who are extensively lobbying and running ad campaigns in Washington, D.C. against Senate Bill 2231. These banks see increasing the member business lending cap (recall there was not a member business lending cap prior to 1998 for credit unions)  as stiff competition for the banks.

Take Action Now!
If you want to help America’s small businesses get access to much needed loans please contact your Senator TODAY by clicking the link below and urge them to support S. 2231, the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill. Once you enter your zip code in the space provided, you will see a letter for your Senator(s), depending on their co-sponsorship status. Please customize each letter with your unique small business and/or credit union story.

Click Here to contact your Senator

If you prefer to call your senators’ offices, dial the US Capital switchboard at 202-224-3121. When speaking with your senator, please relate the following message: 

"I am contacting you to ask for your support on S.2231, The Small Business Lending Enhancement Act. America’s small businesses are the driving force of employment and economic improvement. In a recent survey, 90 percent of small businesses reported the availability of credit for small businesses is a problem. In fact, 61 percent of these same small businesses said it’s harder to get loans today than it was a few years ago. One of the easiest ways to help these small businesses gain access to the credit they need and start hiring is to lift the credit union member business lending cap."

Additional Support

National Cooperative Business Association

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