New Address: Two Embarcadero Center, 8th floor, San Francisco, CA 94111     

CAMEO Has A Legislative Win! And A Call for Investment in Entrepreneurship

  • CAMEO Has a Legislative Win! And More From Sacto
  • Publicly Supported Ecosystem For Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a Policy White Paper
  • Register for WOVEN – Women Veteran Entrepreneurs Network on November 4 in Santa Ana. Everyone will benefit from this amazing professional development opportunity.
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is evidence that the self-employment trend keeps getting stronger and stronger – 5th Annual MBO Partners State of Independence study.

CAMEO Has a Legislative Win!

Over the weekend, California Governor Brown signed into law SB 197, which increases access to affordable capital for California’s 3.6 million small and microbusiness owners. The law helps small business owners learn about responsible financing options at reasonable rates that help build their credit. This is especially important for women-owned and minority-owned firms, which have the greatest difficulty obtaining financing.

SB197 helps responsible lending products become more competitive with other, often predatorym financing options, such as merchant cash advances. It removes a competitive disadvantage that affected licensed commercial lenders in California, like Opportunity Fund and many members of the California Association of Microenterprise Opportunity (CAMEO). Now our member lenders are allowed to pay referral fees to those with whom they do business.

Other bills that CAMEO supported and passed include:

  • AB 1230 by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez (D-LA), creates the California Americans with Disabilities Small Business Capital Access Loan Program. This program is the first of its kind in the country, and will assist small businesses in qualifying for loans to retrofit existing facilities to comply with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We do know that the CalCAP program will have $10 million to lend. More information on this program and its details will be forthcoming when we have it.
  • AB 413 by Assemblymember Rocky Chávez (R-Oceanside), creates the California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Program. It authorizes a child or spouse to continue to operate a disabled veteran business enterprise for three years after the death or the certification of a permanent medical disability of a disabled veteran who was the majority owner of that enterprise. Previously, children and spouses were only able to continue existing contracts.
  • AB 1245 by Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Sacramento) requires businesses with 10 or more employees to file EDD reports online by 2017. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees will be required to do this by 2018. There is a hardship exemption.

Publicly Supported Ecosystem For Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Boku Kodama of the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, wrote The Case for A Publicly Supported Ecosystem For Innovation and Entrepreneurship – something for policy makers to chew on for future (or immediate!) action. Boku calls for raising investment in entrepreneurship to the level of a municipality’s regular services, e.g. fire, police, schools, libraries, etc…. His reason, microbusinesses are the job creators.

Boku says that the problem with our existing business services infrastructure is it’s not systematically used or incorporated into a community’s economic agenda. And that,

We need to rethink our local policies encouraging a beehive of entrepreneurial activities in every city. If we change our paradigm of innovation and entrepreneurship centers as new income generators for the local economy, the improved odds for businesses to succeed means a long lasting revenue stream for the city coffers.

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!

New Report: Our friends Carolyn Oeckels and Steve King at Emergent Research just published the 5th Annual MBO Partners State of Independence study. The self-employment trend keeps getting stronger and stronger. In the next five years, the number of independent workers will be almost 38 million.

Great DIY Video: Economic Development & Financing Corporation (EDFC) offers investors an opportunity to shift their money from Wall Street to “Main Street” with the first Direct Public Offering of its kind in the state of California. Invest in the Mendocino Wool Mill project. For more information on this form of financing, contact another CAMEO member, Cutting Edge Capital.

Small Business Saturday: This year, on November 28th, stand up to be counted among the hundreds of organizations supporting small businesses across the country. Join the Small Business Saturday Coalition, the national grassroots effort supporting the campaign. As a member of the Coalition you will have access to special communications tools and be listed on

For Your Clients, Webinar: Our friends at the SBA and Small Business Majority are helping businesses navigate the changes and opportunities in health care through the Affordable Care Act 101 webinar series this fall – What the Healthcare Law Means for your Small Business. The remaining October dates are 15, 29 in English and October 20th in Spanish.

Free Webinar: CBA is excited to host an educational webinar for all members on the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 10:00am Pacific // 1:00pm Eastern. The webinar will discuss how the program is working with financial institution lenders to generate private lending and investment for small businesses that lack access to capital. To date, SSBCI has disbursed more than $1 billion to 57 state-based small business lending programs.

Professional Development: CFED, with the support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, is launching the Platforms for Prosperity Fellowship. This 10-month working Fellowship will engage six senior workforce development leaders in effecting change in their communities by integrating financial capability services into their organizations’ programs. Applications are due October 26, 2015.

Opportunity: Betsy Densmore of Academies for Social Entrepreneurship announces the Social Entrepreneurship Venture Challenge. The program will bridge the gap between venture philanthropists seeking financial and social impact AND well-vetted social enterprises that can deliver double bottom line returns. Contestants may be for-profit, not-for-profit or hybrid early stage social enterprises. Applications are due by October 30, 2015.

2015 OFN Conference: Register for the conference, November 9-12, 2015 in Detroit. This year’s curriculum offers sessions across 14 tracks reflecting the breadth of the CDFI industry’s financing sectors and issues, including small business. Contact CAMEO to apply for a scholarship to help cover expenses.

Veteran Event: Disabled Veteran Business Alliance (DVBA) 2015 Veterans Day Breakfast is on November 13, 2015 from 8:00-11:00am (PST) in Beverly Hills, CA. This celebratory event honors the service of all veterans past, present and future as well as others who have made significant contributions towards helping our veterans.

For Your Clients: The U.S. Census Bureau recently released The Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition. It’s a tool that allows small business owners a way to easily navigate to and use key demographic and economic data to help guide their research into opening a new or expanding their existing business. These key data includes the most recent and/or relevant data that Census provides that are useful to small business owners.

Take Action: The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights outlines six key rights that all borrowers should have. If you’re a small business lender, credit marketplace, or broker, you can sign the bill of rights. If you are another interested party, you can become an endorser. CAMEO has signed on as an endorser.

Take Action: The Senate is considering legislation passed by the Senate Small Business Committee that would change the SBA Microloan program. While some of the changes are beneficial to intermediaries, counselors, and entrepreneurs, the bill fails to include critical reforms that program participants have requested. For example, the current legislation would allow a waiver from the 25/75 Technical Assistance (TA) requirement to be issued by SBA. This is unnecessary paperwork and the requirement should be removed all together. Providing business assistance that supports entrepreneurs should be at the lenders discretion. AEO and CAMEO believe that microloan reform legislation without important changes will not best benefit the program and its users. We urge you to add your organization in support of this letter to tell the Senate to include these reforms in their legislation. If you are willing to sign on, please email our Government Relations team member John Stanford.