Cross-Country Cyclists Make Stop at CUNA Mutual Group to Support Credit Unions’ Business Lending

Nick Bentz

Jess Noelck

MADISON, Wis. – A group of college students delivered a message of support for lifting the cap on the member business lending at a stop in Madison this week where they were met by local political leaders, and credit union and cooperative officials.

On Aug. 6, the cross-country cyclists arrived at the doorstep of CUNA Mutual Group’s Credit Union Center campus on a trip aimed at promoting member business lending and creating an awareness of the growing cooperative and credit union movements.

The group began their cycling journey in San Francisco and will end the trip in Amherst, Mass. on Sept. 1.

The 14 adventurous students belong to a project called “Co-cycle,” which includes members from various colleges around the country, most of them from the East Coast. The group arrived in Madison with a film crew from New York University documenting the cross country voyage. The Madison community is strongly committed to credit unions and is home to 72 registered co-ops and more than 100 in the surrounding communities.

The students presented a certificate of support to Wisconsin Credit Union League and Credit Union National Association representatives on behalf of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives announcing their endorsement of member business lending legislation for credit unions. The legislation has been debated heavily and is currently before Congress.

Credit unions have been unable to increase member business lending due to legislation that passed in 1998 restricting the amount credit unions can lend. Credit union advocates have asked Congress to pass legislation eliminating the restrictive caps.

Organizations like CUNA Mutual Group, CUNA and Co-cycle are raising awareness of how credit unions can provide relief during tough economic times. The recession has raised lending concerns and increased interest on raising the cap on credit union business lending.

Jill Tomalin, senior vice president, CUNA, said credit unions have $13 billion available in lending. If member business lending legislation is passed, credit unions could help small businesses create more than 140,000 jobs nationwide and roughly 4,400 in Wisconsin in the first year.

“This type of legislation is not only beneficial to credit unions but, more importantly, it allows financial cooperatives to make loans to small businesses and cooperatives,” said Christopher Roe, senior vice president, Corporate and Legislative Affairs, CUNA Mutual Group. “Support for this legislation shows the power of the cooperation among cooperatives and passage will benefit our economy and create jobs.”

CUNA Mutual Group insurance, retirement and investment products provide financial security and protection to credit unions and their members worldwide. With more than 75 years of true market commitment, CUNA Mutual Group’s vision is unwavering: To be a trusted business partner who delivers service excellence through customer-focused products and market-driven insight. More information on the company is available on the company’s website at

CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name for CUNA Mutual Holding Company, a mutual insurance holding company, its subsidiaries and affiliates. Life, accident, health and annuity insurance products are issued by CMFG Life Insurance Company. Property and casualty insurance products are issued by CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc. Each insurer is solely responsible for the financial obligations under the policies and contracts it issues. Corporate headquarters are located in Madison, Wis.

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