Federal Policy Agenda; Member Kudos

  • Federal Advocacy for Micro
  • Member Kudos
  • Read and share widely “Investing in women entrepreneurs nets a huge return on investment,” published in The Hill.
  • Read the 2017 MicroLenders Forum Recap.
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is a series of 17 conversations – Partnerships that Unlock Social Mobility. The remaining ones are in March and April in Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz/Monterey, Riverside, San Diego, Richmond, Santa Clara, Redding, Eureka and Napa.
  • Federal Advocacy for Micro

    Congress is in the middle of a week long recess that ends this Friday. During this time, we urge you to talk to your Congressional Delegation including Senator Feinstein, Senator Harris, and your House representative, about supporting programs important to CAMEO and the micro sector. These include technical assistance and loan programs at the SBA, rural business programs from the USDA, and the CDFI Fund. The individual programs are listed in the attached chart of federal funding requests for entrepreneurship. For FY 2017 we are operating under the 2016 budget because a continuing resolution is in effect until April.

    Kamala Harris’ offices Dianne Feinstein’s offices:
    (202) 224-3553 (DC office) (202) 224-3841 (DC office)
    (415) 355-9041 (San Francisco) (415) 393-0707 (San Francisco)
    (916) 448-2787 (Fresno) (559) 485-7430 (Fresno)
    (213) 894-5000 (Los Angeles) (310) 914-7300 (Los Angeles)
    (619) 239-3884 (San Diego) (619) 231-9712 (San Diego)
    (916) 448-2787 (Sacramento)

    Visit www.house.gov to find your representative and click on “contact” on their homepage.

    Please let me know what happened! The strength of our advocacy depends on you.

    Other actions to be taken on the federal level:

    **The U.S. House of Representatives voted to adopt HJR 66 and HJR 67, which would do significant harm to small businesses. Striking down this Department of Labor rule would have a chilling effect on states that are setting up their own retirement savings programs, which would be especially problematic for small employers, given that a majority are unable to offer retirement plans due to a variety of barriers. We strongly believe states should be allowed to decide whether to implement these types of programs and how best to administer them in order to serve small businesses and employees who struggle to save for retirement. CFED is getting a letter together to petition the Senate to vote “NO” on these resolutions to protect the ability of states to come up with their own solutions to look after the financial well-being of their workers.

    **The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has kept predators from rigging the system against small business and consumers. Congress aims to strip the CFPB of its power and undo many of the rules it is enforcing. ASBC and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) have joined to petition Congress that a stable marketplace depends on the CFPB doing its job.

    **CRC is surveying organizations about their concerns about the Department of Homeland Security’s new immigration enforcement policies. There is concern that clients and neighbors are going “underground” to avoid scrutiny and possible deportation. Such a climate makes it difficult to provide services to these families, and poses additional challenges to the nonprofits that seek to serve them and the communities where they live and work. The survey should take you no more than 10 minutes of your time. Please complete it by next Wednesday, March 1st.

    **To ensure that Assets for Independence (AFI) program and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grants do not get swept up into Congress’s massive spending cuts, we have to make sure that Congress hears your voice NOW, just as the House appropriations process begins. CFED is collecting support letters for both (click above links). AFI has enabled more than 9,400 Americans to become homeowners and 6,400 entrepreneurs to start or expand a small business. Free tax assistance resulted in more than $2.2 billion returning to local communities in 2016 – dollars spent to cover child expenses and transportation costs, pay bills, purchase household necessities, as well as to save for the future.

    It’s definitely time to speak up!

    Member Kudos

    Congrats to MEDA’s Adelante Fund! It has disbursed $1,000,000 in loans since it launched in October 2015. Of our 35+ loans disbursed, 89 percent have been to immigrants starting or expanding a small business.

    Opportunity Finance announced their 2017 Opportunity Fellows. Congrats to the following CAMEO members who were selected for the program.

    • Mary Jo Cook, Pacific Community Ventures, Executive Leader
    • Alex Dang, Opportunity Fund, Mid-Career Leader
    • Roman Ruiz, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Mid-Career Leader
    • Brittany Bennett, Self-Help, Emerging Leader
    • Roberto Antonio Hernandez, Working Solutions, Emerging Leader

    CAMEO’s New Era Workforce Symposium was in the news:

    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!

    Workforce and Micro: The California Workforce Association and California Workforce Development Board have joined forces with the California Community Colleges to facilitate a series of 17 conversations called – Partnerships that Unlock Social Mobility. The remaining ones are in March and April in Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz/Monterey, Riverside, San Diego, Richmond, Santa Clara, Redding, Eureka and Napa. We urge you to attend and make the voice of entrepreneurship heard. Our goal is for local WIBs to partner with CAMEO members to provide training. Please let us know if you are able to make it and what you’ve learned.

    For Your Clients: RJH is casting a wonderful series of commercials for USAA and is looking for real USAA members, and their families, to be in the commercials. They will be paid. Must be: Former Military, any branch, any rank. Male or female. Must have had interaction or insurance claims with USAA. Specifically looking for unique stories of your interaction with USAA as a family. Send the following information to usaacastingfamilies@gmail.com: Name/Age/Military Branch/Rank; Contact Info (phone, email); Current City/State; Which USAA products do you have? (Auto insurance is Required); Family members in your household (list ages); Other Family members who also have USAA Auto Insurance (other generations, siblings etc. List who they are /relationship and where they live); Recent photos/videos of you, your family and/or photos of your military career. Skype interviews are in February and March.

    For Your Clients: Join a global community of impactful entrepreneurs with Stanford Ignite, a transformative program where innovators with military backgrounds learn core business skills such as prototyping, marketing, accounting, leadership and much more. Applications are due March 2, 2017.

    For Your Clients: The U.S. SBA opened the third year of the InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Challenge (the Challenge), pursuant to the America Competes Act, for entrepreneurs to create a product or service that has a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, the potential for commercialization, and fills a need in the marketplace. Organizations that wish to host a local competition as part of the initial round of this Challenge must send a request to the SBA no later than March 10, 2017. (Click on first link in sentence and scroll half way down the page.)

    Grant Opportunity: AARP Foundation presents Work for Yourself@50+, a new initiative designed to help low- and moderate-income older adults explore opportunities to work for themselves and take the first steps toward successful self-employment. This initiative includes the “Five Simple Steps to Get You Started” toolkit, workshop, and interactive website. Eligible organizations can apply to host the workshop component. AARP Foundation is extending a special invitation to member organizations and contacts of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity to apply for the Work for Yourself@50+ initiative. Please use the AEO Request for Applications link to find details regarding grantee expectations, support, timeline and eligibility. The application deadline is March 17, 2017.

    Advocacy Day: This year, OFN’s Advocacy Day will take place on May 16–17, 2017. During Advocacy Day, your voice is needed to make the case to members of Congress and Administration officials about the importance of funding for the CDFI Fund, the industry, and our communities.

    Funding Opportunity: OFN announced their NEXT Fund for Innovation, a pilot that will provide flexible capital in amounts ranging from $500,000 to $2 million to CDFIs with innovative ideas. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis now through June 30, 2017. The fund is open to all qualifying CDFIs, including non-OFN Members and past NEXT Awards recipients.

    Entrepreneur Tracker: Join the seven CAMEO members who are using FIELD’s Entrepreneur Tracker. The tool offers a credible, affordable way to collect and understand outcomes achieved by small business and microbusiness clients. Such outcomes include: Business start and survival rates, jobs, changes in revenue, hourly wages paid to workers, and client movement out of poverty. To discuss pricing and learn more about EntrepreneurTracker, please contact Lavanya Mohan.