AB 152 Passes First Hurdle!

Extra, Extra: Claudia talks about microloans with the AARP.

In this week’s Must Know

  • CAMEO’s Systems Change Efforts for Workforce
  • Question of the Week: Do you talk to your clients?
  • The Goodies: This week’s highlight is that early bird registration for AEO’s national conference Tilt Forward (May 5-8, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri) was extended until March 31.

CAMEO’s Systems Change Efforts for Workforce

CAMEO’s sponsoring two bills this legislative session AB 152 – Self-Employment Assistance Program and AB 285: Microenterprise. Both of these bills will integrate self-employment into the Workforce system.

First, AB 152. We arose at the crack of dawn to drive to Sacramento for the Assembly Insurance Committee hearing on AB152. After everyone had testified and the members voted, we had nine ayes, two nays, and one abstention to pass AB 152 out of the committee! CAMEO extends its gratitude to the committee members for their strong support of entrepreneurship and job creation. Read our press statement.

We want to thank Thomas Tenorio (Community Action Agency Butte County and CAMEO board member), Debra DeBondt (Opening Doors) and Stephanie Cardenas (California Capital) for testifying at the hearing. Your presence was much needed and showed strong grassroots support for the bill. And of course we want to thank the 27 organizations who wrote letters of support to their members and those of you who worked extra hard to reach out to the committee members.

Our work is just beginning. Our next stop is the Assembly Appropriations Committee some time in early-mid April. We still need letters of support and phone calls and if you’re available when the hearing is, we’d love to have you in the room. But for now, let’s all take a deep breath and rest up for the next step – at least on this bill.

Second, AB 285 (Take Action!) This bill that will integrate entrepreneurial training into local Workforce Investment Boards. Ideally, what CAMEO wants to see happen is that local WIBs contract with their local entrepreneurship training program, i.e. CAMEO members. We’ve been working on this for several years and if this bill passes, we would expect more Workforce resources coming your way. Please send your letter of support for AB 285 to Assemblymember Brown (fax: 916-319-2147) and the Assembly JEDE committee (fax: 916-319-2190). Don’t forget to cc: CAMEO with an email copy .

Question of the Week

As part of our transforming the larger issues we’re facing into smaller bites (see last week’s Must Know on Zeitgeist), we’re starting a new feature called Question of the Week. Our first question has to do with the consumer society and how that applies to our field. So the question is…

‘Do you talk to your clients?’

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has a great article that makes the case for talking to your clients and some of the best practices. What are some of the ways that you receive feedback from your clients? What have you done with the information? What have been the benefits for your organization? If you haven’t, what’s keeping you?

We’re providing a forum for discussion on CAMEO’s Facebook page. Please share your thoughts and concerns. If you have an issue that you’d like to bring up for discussion, please let us know.

The Goodies

New opportunities for trainings, conference information, funding, scholarships, and other information that have crossed our desks since the last Must Know: I have posted a running tab of current Goodies on the CAMEO website that lists items that were in past emails. Check it out to make sure you’re not missing anything, like grants whose deadlines are still alive!

Small Business Survey: Small Business California released the results of their survey of 1300 small businesses. A couple of interesting results that have implications for your organizations: 65.9% do not need capital but for those that did 145 were able to get it and 291 were not (opportunity!); 73.7% had never heard of the Affordable Care small business health tax credit (shows need to educate business owners – see next item).

Healthcare Info: Thanks to Small Business Majority for healthcare resources. Small business owners and the self-employed need to know how the Affordable Care Act will bring down costs, create a greater choice of insurance options, and the opportunities it offers to expand coverage.

For Your Clients: Thank You Small Business offers a variety of free webinars to small businesses. They’ll find everything from brand building to collections. Check ’em out!

Contracting Opportunity: Attention consultants and other orgs, CDBG microenterprise program in the City of Williams, Colusa County is looking for a contractor to administer the CDBG grant, underwrite microloans and provide technical assistance or subcontracting to a qualified service-provider. Contact the City of Williams for more information.

Free Webinar: Friedman and Associates hosts: Citizenship Loans: Emerging Best Practices on March 27, 2013 at 11:00 am. PT // 2:00 pm ET. U.S. Citizenship is a powerful financial asset that provides individuals with the ability to earn more money, lowering rates of poverty and offering financial stability both for individuals and entire families. Many microlenders and CDFI are offering “Citizenship Loans” – designed for those who are submitting or planning to submit an Application for Naturalization with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau. Learn more and register.

Renaissance Online Business Prep Class: Attention service-starved areas, the webinar-based classes are scheduled from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. PST one evening a week for 12 consecutive weeks, with two optional 30-minute individual telephone consultations. Clients are expected to participate in every webinar and complete about 3 hours of homework weekly. The next one starts on March 27, 2013. Learn more and register for the Renaissance Online Business Prep Class.

2013 Women in Leadership Conference: The Berkeley-Haas School of Business hosts Path-Bending Leadership – the type of leadership that helps drive business towards a better, more sustainable, healthier, and more just future. The conference offers opportunities to hear from and connect with women leaders who have achieved both personal and professional success. Register for the conference on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 8:30am – 5:00pm at the Berkeley-Haas School of Business.

AEO Conference: Tilt Forward will be May 5-8, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. If you’re not an AEO member, CAMEO members receive a $75 discount with the code SMA2013. If you’re an AEO member, registration fees are 50% of the full conference price – another reason to join the national network. CAMEO can offset some of the costs for this conference; contact Shufina English.

Economic Development Conference: California Community Economic Development Association (CCEDA)’s annual teaching and learning conference is in San Francisco on May 9 at the Hilton. Registration fees are $75 for members and $90 for non-members Scholarships are available, contact CAMEO for information.

Micro Census: FIELD released the comprehensive program and performance data collected last year during its U.S. Microenterprise Census campaign. More than 200 organizations responded to the Census on microtracker.org, contributing their FY 2011 data to a rich data set that is now available online. Stay tuned, this spring, FIELD will launch the 2013 U.S. Microenterprise Census to collect FY 2012 data.

New Report: FIELD has just released a new report, Microenterprise Development as Job Creation. The report draws on surveys conducted with nearly 2000 entrepreneurs who received assistance from 23 microenterprise organizations in 2009. A teaser: The average number of jobs per business, including the owner, was 2.9.