WASHINGTON — Credit unions told members of Congress on Wednesday that raising the member business lending cap will spur job growth.
According to credit union executives that attended this year’s Governmental Affairs Conference, that claim is more than just political strategy.
Laura Illig, vice president of marketing at the $900 million SELCO Community Credit Union, said her Eugene, Ore., cooperative has turned members away because of current member business lending limits.
“We have small business owners come to us all the time because the banks have turned them down,” she said, “and then we also have to turn them down because of the cap.”
Illig said her contingency will share the story of a new hotel SELCO funded through loan participations, the only way it was able to do so. The hotel was the first for Eugene in 30 years, and Illig estimates it has brought 75 to 100 new jobs to the city, in addition to new tourist dollars.
Jackie Cleghorn, director on the board of the $1.4 billion Robins FCU in Warner Robins, Ga., said it also is at its member business lending limit. Cleghorn said he doesn’t know if his credit union has had to turn away members due to the cap, but that lifting the cap would allow Robins to support local economic growth.
Pending legislation to boost the MBL cap was a consistent theme at this year’s GAC.