MADISON, Wis. – Credit unions that are on the fence considering whether to offer member business lending services, have another resource to help with their decision. A number of common MBL themes are explored in a new white paper from the CUNA Lending Council titled Member Business Lending: Ideas and Strategies from Participating Credit Unions. Such experiences that appear to resurface among CUs that offer MBL services include the opportunities created by bank mergers, the need for online services, and the value of a diversified business loan portfolio. Among the CUs profiled in the white paper are Citizen’s Equity First CU, Desert Schools FCU, Visions FCU, Royal CU and Telesis Community CU. As of Sept. 30, 2004, 1,612 CUs had at least one member business loan on the books, according to Callahan & Associates, Inc. Compared to 2003, 1,601 CUs had MBLs on the books. Since the SBA opened up its doors to CUs in February 2003, 121 offered SBA 7(a) loans compared to 181 in 2004, according to the SBA. The number of loans approved by SBA jumped considerably – 298 in 2003 to 752 in 2004 For details on the white paper, log on to www.cunalendingcouncil.org/research.html.