Looking back two years ago finds CUNA taking a seat at the Senate Small Business Committee roundtable. "There are still obstacles that thwart SBA and member business lending at credit unions," said CUNA representative Lafayette FCU Board Member Michael Hearne in a statement for the record. "There is a 12.25% statutory limit on member business lending at credit unions which is a significant restriction other financial institutions do not face. CUNA wants to work with Congress at the appropriate time to expand or eliminate this limitation." That issue also finds two groups of Muslims, one in New York and one in Florida, working toward founding credit unions that would like to organize along the principals of Islamic law. The new credit union would mark the first Islamic credit union in the nation and might provide a model for credit union efforts in the Muslim world. "I think in the wake of everything that has happened, the September 11 attacks, now the war, these groups want to emphasize the point that credit unions are really for everybody.They need access to affordable financial services and they need credit unions," said Beltsville, Maryland based consultant Kelly Morris, who is working to establish the CU.

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