August=Meet With Legislators; Fill Out the Census

  • Save the Date: Microlending Essentials Training, November 7-9, 2017 in Los Angeles. This new training program is for staff who want to learn the difference between micro and small business lending and do it right.
  • CAMEO in the News: CAMEO’s support of the Small Business Borrower’s Bill of Rights was featured on their blog.
  • And…Action! – Summer Recess for Senators!
  • Be Counted! Go to microTracker! The deadline is August 31, 2017.
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is Pacific Community Venture’s survey to better understand small businesses’ current employee benefit and engagement practices, pain points, and goals when it comes to providing quality jobs. Forward the link to your clients so they can take the survey.
  • And…Action! – Summer Recess for Senators!

    We’ve moved this up to the top, because it’s super important! Congress has adjourned, and Members are in their states and districts for the August recess. In 2017, CAMEO has aggressively advocated for California’s small businesses and entrepreneurs in the districts and DC this year, but your voice is the most powerful tool we have to sway legislators! Take advantage of the recess to engage with your representatives and tell our collective story. Here’s a recap of where we stand. On July 12, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY2018 funding bill that includes USDA’s Rural Business Development Program. The House bill eliminates the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, and funds the Intermediary Relending Program ($17.5 million), the Value-Added Producers Grants ($10 million) and Rural Business Development Grants ($20 million) – all taking cuts and are below CAMEO’s budget requests (ouch). The next day, the same committee passed Financial Services & General Government (FSGG) FY2018 funding bill that funds the SBA and the Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund. The SBA’s Microloan program was funded at CAMEO’s budget request level of $31 million for technical assistance, supporting $44 million in loans. However, The CDFI Fund was funded at $190 million which is $60 million below CAMEO’s request, but much better than the President’s $0. Allocations for WBCs ($17 million) and SBDCs ($120 million) were also below our goal. The PRIME program was eliminated entirely in the House bill. Both bills now move to the Senate where we hope for a much different result. Senator Feinstein is a member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and understands the value of robust funding for the USDA’s Rural Business Program. Senate FSGG Chair Shelley Moore Capito is a strong ally of the CDFI Fund. Her committee took Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to task for the Administration’s desire to eliminate the CDFI Fund during a hearing on July 26. Mr. Mnuchin defended the cuts as part of the administration’s effort to find money to pay for an increase in defense funding. CAMEO is also engaged with Chair Moore Capito’s office to preserve crucial PRIME funding. Our Senators need to hear from you! The best way to make sure our sector’s message is heard is for you to schedule a meeting with your Senators in their local office, urging them to support CAMEO’s FY2018 Appropriations request. Below please find an update on the status of our appropriations requests so far, and information that can help you set up meetings with our Senators. If you can’t meet – then call! Every effort is appreciated. And let us know that you did!

    Be Counted! Go to microTracker!

    When we ask our members about what they value most about CAMEO, a common answer is “advocacy.” We can’t do the advocacy effectively without good data in normal times. Today’s political climate means that it has never been more important to make the micro voice heard. Be Counted. Fill out the microTracker Census! The survey closes on August 31. If you’re not responsible for collecting your organization’s data – forward this email to the person who is! CAMEO partners with FIELD at the Aspen Institute to conduct a census of California’s microbusiness programs using the microTracker platform. The California SBDCs did a great job or organizing their data and presenting it to the state legislators. Their efforts resulted in a 50% increase in the funding they’ve received from the state for FY 2017-18 and hopefully will lead to more. We rely on you for your data. This data fuels our advocacy and supports our members at the state and national level. The better data we have, the stronger our case is, and the easier it is to express the vital role MDOs play in the small business sector. In addition, the Census helps your organization to:
    • Organize your data to present to your board, funders, and supporters. MicroTracker uses standardized data definitions to answer the most common questions people have about your microbusiness program.
    • Raise your profile and manage valuable performance metrics from number of microloans disbursed to cost per client. Use this to sharpen and strengthen your program.

    The Goodies

    New opportunities for training, 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 Industry 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! For Your Clients: Please pass this on to your clients – “As part of their vision to make quality jobs for working people the norm (and not the exception) our friends at Pacific Community Ventures are working to equip small business owners like you with practical tools and cost-effective resources to offer higher quality jobs in a way that balances your business’ financial and operational needs with doing right by your employees. In order to better create resources that meet your needs and serve as true actionable guides, they’re asking for your input in a 5 minute, anonymous survey. The goal is to better understand small businesses’ current employee benefit and engagement practices, pain points, and goals when it comes to providing quality jobs. Take the survey:” For Your Clients: The U.S. Department of the Treasury will phase out the myRA program, the program is no longer accepting new enrollments. Savings in existing accounts remain safely in the investment issued by Treasury. Account holders have been notified; and the Treasury website has been updated. Account holders can continue to manage their accounts until further notice. We will be establishing regular communication with account holders to keep them informed of next steps and relevant deadlines through this transition. As the phase-out continues, the most up-to-date information and resources can be found at Free Webinar: Join CalNonprofits for “2018 Political Forecast – What Can We Expect and How Can We Prepare?” on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 11:00am. Professional Development: The Nonprofit Tech Roundup is in Portland this fall, October 3-4. At the two-day conference, you’ll get the inspiration and practical tips you need on topics like websites and accessibility, data visualization, project management, email campaigns, and more. The early bird deadline is August 15, 2017. Professional Development: Credit Builders Alliance is offering a one-day training that will help non-profit community-based organizations enhance their understanding of credit building as an asset building strategy as well as best practices in credit education. The training will provide participants with an opportunity to learn from each other and credit experts and about the growing field of credit building including. The training is on August 21, 2017 from 9:30am-5:00pm PDT at the National Asian American Coalition, 15 Southgate Avenue, Daly City, CA 94015. Professional Conference: Register for the OFN Conference in Washington, DC on September 26-28, 2017. Yelp! for Grant Makers: GrantAdvisor is now open for you to hare your experiences of working with a foundation. The program is sponsored by CalNonprofits, GreatNonprofits, and Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. New Report: Equity Profiles project by PolicyLink recently produced a report for San Francisco, the Bay Area and Los Angeles County. Each profile presents demographic trends and assess how well regions are doing to ensure its diverse residents can participate in the region’s economic vitality, contribute to the readiness of the workforce, and connect to the region’s assets and opportunities. If you are interested in producing an Equity Profile for your community, please contact Sarah Treuhaft. New Report: Prosperity Now recently issued “Stuck From the Start: The Financial Challenges of Low- and Moderate-Income African-American Entrepreneurs in the South.” Not only does the report outline the problem, but hints at directions to go to solve the challenge.]]>