Pewaukee, Wis. – A whopping 80% of Wisconsin voters polled by the Wisconsin Credit Union League say they support The Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill—legislation that would add $408 million of new credit for Wisconsin businesses through credit unions. The legislation, H.R. 1418/S. 2231, is expected to come up for a vote by the U.S. Senate during the Lame Duck session of Congress, between now and Christmas.
The bill, which would make more business credit available by raising an arbitrary cap on credit unions’ member business lending assets from 12.25% of assets to 27.5% of assets, has gained steam because:
· Small businesses say there’s a credit gap; research finds 90% of small firms agree. A 2011 study from Pepperdine University shows that banks are denying the majority (60%) of loan applications.
· Credit unions have done all they can. Since the start of the recession in 2007, Wisconsin banks decreased their business lending by 2% while Wisconsin credit unions grew theirs by 55% to compensate.
· Credit unions’ hands are tied from offering additional help. Almost ALL credit unions either deny loans because of the cap or can’t offer any because the cap prevents cost recovery.
· The legislation would add close to 5,000 jobs in Wisconsin the first year alone.
· It helps Main Street. Half of credit union business loans help families with income under $50,000.
· It costs taxpayers nothing. It’s been called a “no brainer” by the bill’s lead author, Colorado Senator Mark Udall, as well as Forbes.
· Federal regulators support it. Wisconsin credit unions have had a lower rate of business loan delinquency and losses than banks for more than a decade and have made those loans safely for 100 years.
· A bipartisan coalition of more than 30 organizations supports it. They represent small businesses, the self-employed and the insurance, textile, realty, construction, automotive and technology industries.
· It won’t hurt banks. Banks hold 95% of U.S. business loans; this legislation won’t dent their market share. In fact, almost half of banks support the legislation.