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Federal Appropriations Update; Faces Winner: B Team Solutions

Federal Appropriations Update

We have some preliminary great news to share from the FY17 appropriations bill recently released in the House:

  • SBA’s Microloan Program was given $44 million in lending authority and $31 million for Technical Assistance. Both levels are equal to our requested levels and an impressive 25% increase from FY16.
  • SBA’s 7(a) Program was also allocated a record $28.5 billion.
  • The Women’ Business Center program is set to receive $19 million for FY17. This is $2 million more than the program received last year and up nearly $5 million – or over 30% – in just three years.
  • The CDFI fund is also getting a major boost with an appropriation of $250 million exceeding our request of $246 million.
  • Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG) received $35 million, which is $5 million more than last year.
  • Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG) received $15 million, which $4 million more than last year.
  • The Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) is funded at $19 million, which is at our request level.

The only item on our requested list that was not reported is the RMAP program, but some funding for RMAP is mandatory. We will be providing more details as soon as they come available, including PRIME grant funding.

CAMEO has been a leading advocate for funding these programs, and so far, that advocacy has yielded enormous returns – from increased WBC funds, to TA grants, to dollars lent through CDFIs. And we’re one of the only voices for rural. In March we met with key Agriculture Appropriators, Congressmen Farr and Valladao, who asked us to submit testimony. Both CAMEO and AEO submitted letters requesting increased appropriations…and voila! The fact that most programs continue to be cut or are stagnant makes these increases especially significant.

Note that these aren’t the final numbers and have to be reconciled with the Senate budget, but we’re a far cry from the days of sequestration!

Faces Winner: B Team Solutions

Register for CAMEO’s Annual Member Meeting and Advocacy Day – June 7, 2016 at the Sacramento Sheraton. Our Faces of Awards winners will be presented during lunch by the winners’ legislators. Check out the Annual Meeting webpage for more information on the day’s agenda.

This week, we feature Bethany Smith, owner of B Team Solutions, LLC, nominated by Coachella Women’s Business Center. Bethany turned a concern for worker safety into a booming $250,000 business projected to grow even bigger thanks to a recent national distribution deal and another in the works. Bethany and her partner (her husband!) prove that you can do well by doing good.


The other two winners are:

Note that June 7 is California’s primary election day, so vote by mail!

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: Opportunity Fund released a very important research report, Unaffordable and Unsustainable: The New Business Lending on Main Street.” Until now, we have been relying on stories to explain what’s happening with online lending. Now we’ve got some data on the loans and cash advances being offered to small businesses by short-term, high-cost alternative lenders. Cliff notes on findings: 94% interest rates; average payment is 1.78x income -YIKES.

CAMEO Content: 1) Watch and share our WOVEN Video. 2) Read Claudia’s piece: “Business Ownership Will Close the Wealth Gap“.

Member Kudos: Congrats to Teri Kelsall who won the SBA Small Business Award – “Women in Business Champion of the Year” on May 24, 2016 for her work in The Jonas Project. Also, John Kelsall of The Jonas Project was interviewed by National Public Affairs Radio on “For the Record” that aired on May 28 (not online yet, but of course we’ll send the link when it’s available.)

For Your Clients: The Obama Administration’s final overtime rule, published on May 18, will make an estimated 4.2 million new workers eligible for overtime pay. Salaried workers, making up to $47,476 annually, will get time-and-a-half payments for work over 40 hours in a week. The effective date is December 1, 2016.

Free Webinar: Register for Helping Small Businesses Become ADA Compliant Webinar on June 2, 2016 10:00am PT. The California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA), chaired by State Treasurer John Chiang, is pleased to introduce California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Financing Program (CalCAP/ADA). The CalCAP/ADA Financing Program encourages lenders to provide financing for small businesses to complete retrofits and modifications necessary for ADA compliance. For questions, contact program staff via e-mail.

Professional Development Opportunity: You’re invited to join the CFED Assets & Opportunity Network and Center for Financial Security for a new four-part virtual Listening & Learning Series on Financial Coaching & Counseling. The are on the following Wednesdays from 12:-1:30pm PDT: June 8, July 13, August 10, and September 14. The A&O Network has also released Financial Coaching Census.

For Your Clients: Small Business Majority is hosting Access to Capital 101: Funding Options to Start and Grow Your Business every Wednesday in June (June 8, 15, 22, and 29). They present an overview of alternative lending options including community development financial institutions, SBA’s loan guarantee program and reputable online options, key questions to consider when seeking funding, the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights and helpful tools and resources.

Get a Free App: PayPal is excited to host Opportunity Hack in San Jose for the 4th straight year. Last year, we had some amazing results from this event. We hope you will submit an application by June 8, 2016 to join us. Opportunity Hack strives to match highly-skilled volunteers (i.e. top-notch engineers and other professionals from PayPal, other local companies, and colleges) with nonprofit organizations (NPOs) that need technological solutions for critical challenges. Our goals for Opportunity Hack are to solve existing problems for NPOs and to foster a connection with technologists that can extend beyond a single weekend. This year we will be giving out prizes for ideas with the most opportunity for impact. Participants at the hackathon will vote to select the nonprofits with the best idea submission and the one that is the most engaged during the hackathon. Please email your questions to

Free Webinar: Friedman and Associates will host De-Mystifying the CDFI Certification Process on Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 11:00am – 12:30pm PDT. This webinar will take you inside the certification process and answer key questions including: 1) What does it mean to become a CDFI? What are the benefits? 2) What are the 7 tests of certification and how do I know if my organization can be certified? 3) What is the process to prepare the application? 4) If we are not yet ready for certification, how do we prepare for it?

Funding Opportunity: The U.S. SBA Office of Veterans Business Development Service – Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program has a total of $300,000 in funding is available for this program in FY 2016. SBA expects to make up to six (6) awards; minimum award of $50,000, maximum award of $150,000. Applications are due June 18, 2016.

OFN Western Regional Meeting: Registration is open for the June 29, 2016 OFN Western Regional Meeting. The meeting will take place in Los Angeles, CA at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Los Angeles Branch (950 S Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90015). Check out the agenda.

For Your Clients: The Governor signed SB 269 (Roth). The bill gives small businesses (less than 50 employees) that hire a Certified Access Specialist time to take care of problems related to disability access before a lawsuit can be filed in California courts. It also allows some time to take care of problems with signage and warning strips. Note a suit in Federal courts is still allowed because a state cannot preempt the Federal government. It is hoped the Federal Court will take this as a good faith effort on the part of small businesses.

For Your Clients: On Monday, May 16, new SEC rules became effective allowing businesses for the first time to provide equity to investors through crowdfunding platforms. Given uncertainty in the funding market for startups, these new rules could be extremely useful to entrepreneurs. (Click for infographic published by the SBA’s Office of Advocacy.)

Take Action: Our colleagues at Small Business Majority is gathering support to urge the Senate to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court continues to operate with a vacancy, many of its most important cases will almost undoubtedly result in a 4-4 split. This means that crucial issues facing the small business community could remain unresolved, and small business owners will face an uncertain business environment. If you believe it’s time for the Senate to do its job and hold a hearing, sign their pledge.

FIELD’s EntrepreneurTracker: FIELD worked with 19 microenterprise organizations in 2015 to collect data on the outcomes of 1,086 clients they had served in 2014. Each dollar spent on program costs generated between $8.96 and $9.45 in benefits. Learn more about EntrepreneurTracker.