Go To Market Recap and Congressional Visit Results

I know this is long, but we just have SO much to tell you!

Central Valley Goes To Market, A Recap

California is a foodie state if there ever was one. There’s no better place to grow food, explore food innovations or market food. We have teamed up with the Specialty Foods Association to offer up a full day of learning about the food industry: business and marketing opportunities, how to stay viable and competitive, and financing. On April 22, 2017, we brought this top-notch training to the Central Valley with our partners Fresno CDFI and the Fresno State SBDC and many others. Over 100 business owners or start-ups attended. (Photo: Claudia Viek, Shufina English and Tim Thiesen, President of the Reedley Chamber of Commerce.)

Ron Tanner of the Specialty Food Association inspired us with the opportunities that exist within the industry. Some of his key points were:

  • Lots of money is in specialty foods: $124 billion and growing.
  • The top 10 segments make up 47% of the market – cheese, frozen, chips and snacks, coffees and teas, breads and baked goods, candy, condiments, yogurt and prepared meats.
  • Snacks had 28% of the market with 16% growth.
  • Interests are shifting to sustainable, organic, local and eco-friendly (may seem obvious in some areas of the country, but overall this is a new change).
  • Specialty foods are expanding market share.
  • Fresh, healthy grab-and-go products are expanding.
  • Online sales are expanding.

You can read more about the training and find an agenda on our blog post “Central Valley Goes to Market, a Recap.”

National Small Business Week

National Small Business Week starts this Sunday! SBA Administrator Linda McMahon will start the week in Washington, D.C., where she will recognize and award outstanding small business owners from around the country. She will then continue the week with small business events in New York City, Indianapolis, Dallas and finish up in Fresno, California! Additionally, recognition and educational events throughout SBA’s 10 Regions and 68 Districts will be held throughout the week.

Every year since 1963 SBA takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from across the nation through National Small Business Week.

Resources for National Small Business Week:

  • For a schedule of events, visit the NSBW website.
  • Read “Writing YOUR Success Story” by Administrator McMahon.
  • SCORE, SBA’s resource partner and NSBW fiscal agent, will host a NSBW Twitter Chat onTuesday, May 2 from 9:30-10:30am PT // 12:30-1:30pm ET. SCORE’s handle is @SCOREMentors ‏and the chat hashtag is #SmallBusinessWeek.

California also kicks of California Small Business Month with a press conference at the State Capitol on Monday, May 1. Click on the link for a schedule of events in Modesto, LA, and Oakland and their Wednesday Webinar Series.

And…Action! – Congressional Visits

The new section of the Must Know — And…Action! — is in response to the current political reality that demands that we participate more fully in the state and the federal legislative processes. We urge you to assign a staff person to be responsible for taking action.

Congressional Recess Visits

Thanks to those of you who met with your congressional representatives. The Inland Empire came through with three meetings: Congresswoman Torres, the staff of Congressman Calvert, and Congressman Pete Aguilar. (Photo Left to Right: Christine Sanchez, Accion San Diego, Michelle Skiljan IE Women’s Business Center, Congressman Aguilar, Hilda Kennedy, AmPac Tri-State CDC, Carla Ulloa of Lendistry and Vincent McCoy of the IE SBDC.)

Congressman Aguilar was supportive and easy going, and was very impressed with the service delivery numbers for the Inland Empire. According to Carla Ulloa,

At one of our point conversations he asked, ‘What can I do for you? I can’t give you $5 million dollars.’ In which I replied, ‘Perhaps $6 million would work?’ Everyone laughed. He continued to say that he understood how important we are. Vincent and Hilda brought really great statistics regarding the IE so I think that was impressive. We also shared with him the overall economic impact in the IE. Congressman Aguilar expressed his concern with the president and couldn’t say what direction the outcome would be. He said, ‘We are a small group so we need to make a lot of noise.’ Overall, I think it was a great meeting.

The meeting with Calvert’s staff indicated that he appreciates the SBA and seems interested in preserving that funding with possible support the CDFI fund.

CAMEO met with Representative David Valadao’s staff while we were in Fresno for the Go-To-Market event. Valadao has been a leader in USDA’s Rural Development program and asked for an increase of $10 million for the FY 2017 budget – still under a Continuing Resolution. Tate Hill from Fresno CDFI and colleagues from the Northern California Community Loan Fund also met with Valadao’s office to explain the value of their projects in the district.

I will be attending a meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district director Dan Bernal and am in the process of setting up a meeting with Senator Feinstein’s staff for several of our members. If anyone else has met with their representatives or their staff, please email me and let me know how it went.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the FY 2017 budget process. Hot off the presses the Continuing Resolution (CR) that ends tomorrow was extended to expire on May 5. That is as sign that federal government funding negotiations for FY2017 are nearing a conclusion. Immediately after the conclusion of FY2017 omnibus, Congress delves immediately into the FY2018 budget process.

State Efforts: Update on Bills

AB 1230 (Burke): The bill would provide the California SBDCs $2 million in state funding. At this moment, the author has held the bill and made it a two-year bill, so it will not be heard in committee this year. California SBDCs released a report of their impacts by district.

AB 75 (Steinorth, et al): The bill would counting 1099 income eligible for EITC. This bill is being held by the chair of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee Sebastian Ridley Thomas.

SB 551 (Hueso): The bill, with specific exceptions, would prohibit the authority from recapturing its contribution from a loss reserve account unless the balance remaining in that loss reserve account following recapture is greater than 20% of the total amount in the account. The bill will be heard in Senate Appropriations on Monday, May 1.

AB 778 (Caballero): Will re-instate the COIN program to allow tax credits for investments in CDFIs. The bill is being amended and will be re-heard in committee.

AB 1517 (Muratsuchi/Chiu/Co-Author Senator Allen): The bill passed out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee after passing out of the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee (what we call double referred). AB 1517 would provide an effective option for start-up companies and small businesses to access capital through equity crowdfunding. The bill will be heard in Appropriations Committee within a few weeks.

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!

Member Kudos: Congrats to WEV’s CEO and Founder, Marsha Bailey, who will become the Pacific Coast Business Times’ Business Hall of Fame’s 16th inductee and third woman inducted!

Newsy Tidbit: Volunteer time = $24.14.

Policy Webinar: Our colleagues at WIPP present a policy briefing: What happened with the budget? on May 1, 2017 at 11:30am PT // 2:30pm ET. The government will run out of money on April 28 if Congress doesn’t pass a bill to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. If Congress fails to come to an agreement to fully fund the government, members can pass a bill called a Continuing Resolution that will keep it running at current spending levels. Join WIPP President Jane Campbell and Chief Advocate Ann Sullivan (also CAMEO’s DC person) on a free webinar to learn how Congress acted, and what it means for women business owners.

Free Webinar: After the first 101 days of the Trump presidency, what do we see in the future for immigration, health care, and tax reform? Join CalNonprofits for a webinar on May 1, 2017 at 12:00noon to find out.

For Your Clients: Small Business Majority is hosting free a webinar – Access to Capital 101: Funding Options to Start and Grow Your Business on May 3, 2017 at 11:00am PDT // 2:00pm EDT. These free national webinars will help businesses navigate the funding landscape and connect with resources to help obtain the capital needed to start and grow your client’s business.

Professional Development Opportunity: ASBC is offering a three-part series of training webinars to help you meet with your representatives and speak to the media successfully. Join ASBC’s experts and equip yourself with an arsenal of tools to build relationships with the elected officials and the media and make your business voice heard on the issues and policies that matter! There is one remaining webinar on May 3, 10:00am-11:00pm PT// 1:00-2:00pm ET: Hone Your Message and Work with the Media to Get It Out.

Nonprofit Webinar: Salesforce hosts “How do you stack up? A Benchmark Study of Nonprofits with M+R” on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 11:00am PDT//2:00pm EDT. This year marks M+R’s 11th comprehensive look at online fundraising, advocacy, and marketing – so we’re turning it up to 11: more volume, more data, more excitement. And Salesforce.org is bringing it to you live, for free!

CAMEO Webinar: Many of you work with self-employed independent contractors and freelancers. Many (if not all!) of you know Quick Books. Do you know that Intuit has a product tailor made for the independent freelancers? Join us May 10 at 11:00am-12noon PT for a webinar — Intro to QuickBooks Self-Employed (think Simple Schedule C).

Professional Development: Nominations for the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits) Board of Directors are officially open for the 2017 election. As part of CalNonprofits’ commitment to democracy in our society and in our membership, two thirds of board members are elected by members. Nominations will be accepted through May 15, 2017.

Professional Conference: Registration is now open for OFN’s 2017 Small Business Finance Forum, June 15 and 16 at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park.

Professional Conference: Register for Credit Builders Alliance’s 2017 Credit Building Symposium, June 26-27 in Washington, DC.

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.

CAMEO Success Story: Read our profile of Joze Lopez of Stardust Events and a MEDA client.

New Report: AEO recently released “The Tapestry of Black Business Ownership in America: Untapped Opportunities for Success.” The report assesses the economic strength and potential of Black-owned businesses, identifies myths, challenges and opportunities across a mosaic of segments, and suggests a plan for how investors and policymakers can increase the effectiveness of programs designed to support Black entrepreneurship.

Professional Development Opportunity: BALLE has opened the application process for their 2018 BALLE Local Economy Fellowship program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis (so apply early!) from February 2017 until the cohort is filled. Applicants can expect to be notified of their first round status (finalist, declined, or still under review) within 4-6 weeks of receipt of your application.