- 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.
- Download the August Outreach Info doc that has the appropriations request and tips on what to say at your meeting.
- Contact Senator Kamala Harris
- Contact Senator Diane Feinstein
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.