Appropriations Battle – Part II

Claudia writes in the American Banker about how capital access needs to incorporate business assistance and that includes funding for business technical assistance.

In this week’s Must Know:

  • The Appropriations Battle Begins – Part II – Action Needed!
  • CAMEO and AEO Awards and Conferences
  • The Goodies: information on important opportunities like trainings, funding, scholarship programs. This week’s highlight is the 2012 San Diego Microfinance Summit: Technology and Innovation on April 4, 2012 at the University of San Diego. Register

The Appropriations Battle Begins – Part II

Last week, we sent letters to the California delegation to ask for our appropriations request, which included funding our favorite programs at 2010 levels (e.g. PRIME @$8 million, RBEG @$34 million). Thanks for those who did send letters. This week it’s time to focus on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (House FSGG), the committee that decides on funding for the SBA and CDFI’s.

We have two weeks to get our views and recommendations to the committee. Please write letters to the Subcommittee Chair Jo Ann Emerson and Ranking Member Jose’ Serrano to request their support for these programs, including PRIME, Microloan Program, WBCs, SBDCs, and the CDFI Fund. We know that Rep. Serrano is listening because he came down hard on the SBA Director for cutting PRIME and TA funding. Her reply, “PRIME and TA will be covered by the Community Advantage program which targets low/mod income areas”. We don’t agree.

Thanks to AEO for drafting sample letters. Download the following sample letters, put on your letterhead and personalize them with your organization’s impact.

Please fax letters by April 4, 2012 and indicate that you would like your letter included in the Official Hearing Record.

  • For Chair Jo Ann Emerson, fax your letter to (202) 226-6692 and send a copy of your letter to Ariana Sarar.
  • For Ranking Member Jose’ Serrano, fax your letter to (202) 225-6001 and send a copy of your letter to Laura Hogshead.

Please CC Martin Feeney and myself.

We know we’re asking you to do a lot between the crowdfunding action earlier in the week and the ask for the appropriations letter, but this persistence is what gives the Micro sector power and credibility.

CAMEO and AEO Awards and Conferences

Time to make travel plans to Sac and DC.

The AEO 2012 National Conference: The Power of Micro-Business is on April 30-May 2 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Register now – early bird registration ends April 2, 2012. As a CAMEO member you save an additional $75 our discount code “SMA2012”. Contact CAMEO if you need a scholarship to attend the AEO Conference – a great opportunity for professional development. Two highlights are:

  • CAMEO’s annual Policy Briefing with California legislators and staffers on May 2: Congresswomen Judy Chu (D-LA) and Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) have been invited to present their bills. This event has always produced results for CAMEO and our members!
  • And there’s real money available for the first-annual Power of One Awards. The application deadline is Friday, March 30 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Mark your calendars for CAMEO’s Annual Meeting in Sacramento, June 6-7, 2012. Expect an ‘official’ invitation in early April. In the meanwhile, you can book your hotel room at the discount rate until May 15, 2012. And don’t forget to Nominate your businesses for the Face of Entrepreneurship Awards by April 15, 2012.

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!

Job Opportunities: Check out our jobs page as I’ve added a few in the last couple weeks, e.g. Working Solutions is looking for a loan officer.

Free webinar: Our friends at CFED host The Road Less Traveled: Innovative Solutions in Rural IDA Programs on Wednesday, March 28, 3:30-4:30 p.m. EDT / 12:30-1:30 p.m. PDT. This webinar will describe some of the issues IDA programs face in rural areas, and will share effective solutions that rural AFI grantees have implemented for program recruitment, financial education and more. Learn more and register.

Micro Conference: A whole bunch of CAMEO members in San Diego (ACCION San Diego, CDC Small Business Finance, Foundation for Women, International Rescue Committee) along with other partners will host the 2012 San Diego Microfinance Summit: Technology and Innovation on April 4, 2012 at the University of San Diego. Register and learn more.

Small Business Loan Fund Conference: The NADO Research Foundation’s Economic Development Finance Service (EDFS) will host a conference on April 24-26, 2012 in Burlington, VT. The event includes sessions that offer best practice examples from peers, plenaries that bring in top notch leaders in small business finance and technical assistance, a roundtable of federal agency program staff and many opportunities for attendees to share and exchange information, suggestions for problem solving, and a format for learning about new programs or solutions that can be replicated in your region. Register and learn more.

Grant Opportunity: In 2012 the California Consumer Protection Foundation will be accepting applications for approximately $1 million of grants under the Telecommunication Consumer Education Fund (TCEF). Successful TCEF projects will support the efforts of community-based organizations to ensure that Californians become more informed, savvy consumers of wireless telecom services. The next 2012 application deadline is May 1, 2012. Learn more.

For Your Clients (in SoCal – LA, Orange, Ventura and Riverside Counties): Count Me In (a Friend of CAMEO) hosts Urban Rebound Los Angeles Conference and Competition on May 10 and 11, 2012 at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles. You can register (only $49) for the conference and/or send to your clients – it’s a great opportunity. Find out about the pre-conference pitch parties so your clients can practice pitching their business (say that five times fast.)

Grant Opportunity: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced the availability
of approximately $75 million in YouthBuild grant funds to develop programs that will help out-of-school youth complete high school or General Educational Development programs, as well as learn critical occupational skills in construction, health care, information technology and other fields. I’m not sure if entrepreneurship training is one of those fields, but it should be! Check it out. The Solicitation for Grant Applications is available on the Employment and Training Administration website. The deadline is May 8, 2012.