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Great State News! BBOR Policy Webinar. Federal Updates

In this Must Know…

  • Exciting State Policy Update!
  • BBOR Policy Webinar
  • Federal Updates
  • Renew your membership or join to help us continue our successful advocacy work!
  • Register for the Microlenders Forum on February 13, 2018 in San Francisco. (Space is limited.)
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is

Exciting State Policy Update!

Yes, I said “exciting” and “policy” in the same phrase.

As I mentioned last week, Governor Brown released his budget for 2018-2019. For the first time, the Governor has proposed $20 million for direct small business assistance as part of the FY 18-19 budget. We know that the money is intended to leverage federal dollars such as those that are invested in SBDCs, WBCs, and VBOCs, but beyond that we don’t know much about how the dollars are to be allocated. Carolina and I were able to share our excitement with our CALED colleagues last week at their roundtable. We all recognized that the task at hand is to make sure that the money is distributed effectively, efficiently, and fairly.

In the introduction to the budget, the governor calls out small business assistance as a tool to support job creation.

Since January 2011, California has added 2.6 million jobs to the economy. While state government can only have a limited influence over the state’s dynamic economy, the stability of a balanced state budget has given businesses the certainty and the reassurance they need to invest in California… the Budget proposes to extend the California Competes program for another five years with $180 million in credits awarded annually. An additional $20 million annually will directly assist small businesses.

CAMEO has been working to convince the governor’s office to invest in small and micro business development for as long as I can remember. We are grateful to the governor for understanding the power of business ownership in creating family wealth and self-sufficient and sustainable communities.

BBOR Policy Webinar

Please join the Responsible Business Lending Coalition (RBLC) for a presentation of their federal and state policy agendas on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 from 11:00am-12:00pm PST // 2:00-3:00pm EST.

RBLC founding members will present policy recommendations intended to promote access to fair and responsible capital for small businesses. They will discuss in detail the following recommendations:

  • Create a Truth in Lending Act for small businesses
  • Support small business data collection
  • Support modernization of the IRS technology used to share tax returns with lender
  • Pass a resolution in support of the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights
  • Require registration and duty of care of brokers

Then the coalition will explain opportunities for signatories and endorsers to engage with advocacy, followed by Q & A. Submit questions or feedback in advance of the webinar, either on the RBLC’s policy platform or the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights.

Federal Updates

In an effort to avoid a government shutdown, the House Appropriations Committee passed a continuing appropriations resolution (CR) to fund the government through February 16, 2018. The CR was negotiated by House GOP leadership after the collapse of bipartisan talks on an extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) to protect Dreamers. The current CR expires today, Friday at midnight.

It’s uncertain to unlikely that the CR will pass the Senate. At an event in Washington hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that he is against the CR. “I believe we should take care of the DREAM Act kids now, not wait till March 5, and we should increase defense spending now.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Congress has until March 5 to address DACA. Something’s gotta give. This is a moving story. I suggest you google “government shutdown” to find out the latest.

The fight for Net Neutrality had movement this week: 50 senators support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality (one more and then it goes to the House); and as of this week, 21 states filed lawsuits to appeal the repeal.

Carolina will be in DC next week meeting with our legislators and discussing these issues and the importance of our programs and issues critical to the micro sector.

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!

Funding Opportunity: The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the availability of two new grant opportunities for established and aspiring Women’s Business Center host organizations to provide outcome-oriented business services for women entrepreneurs.

Free Webinar: Join Cutting Edge Capital for “Legal Cannabis Business Structuring and Capital Raising Part II” to gain more insight into capital raising and business structuring for the California cannabis industry on January 23, 2018 at 11:30am PT.

Free Webinar: Asset Funders Network presents “The Health and Wealth Connection: A California Perspective” on January 24, 2018 at 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PST. Data indicates assets, income, and health are inexorably linked. On the one hand, good health is associated with higher wealth and income, better employment and education. On the other hand, we know that adults with more financial resources have better health and live longer lives. Throughout one’s course of life, the challenges of health and wealth are connected.

New Resource: The SBA’s SF District Office has launched a slack channel – The Business Support Network – that you are invited to join. Feel free to announce events and voice questions about where to send clients, how to handle specific types of businesses, find funding (for clients or yourselves), shape programming to serve business owners, and more. (Note: they had some technical difficulties, so if you signed up, you’ll need to sign up again.)

New Report: The SBA Office of Advocacy released, “Latino Business Ownership: Contributions and Barriers for U.S. Born and Immigrant Latino Entrepreneurs,” that evaluates the differences in Latino self-employment rates and business income, comparing immigrant and U.S.-born Latino men and women with non-minorities. Roughly 600,000 business owners are U.S.-born Latinos, with an additional 1.2 million immigrant Latino business owners. The study shows that total Latino business owners generate $62.5 billion in business income. However, Latino business owners on average report less business income, and U.S born Latinos have a smaller self-employment rate.

New Report: The Tax Policy Center analyzed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act and how it will affect households in different income brackets. In general, higher income households receive larger average tax
cuts as a percentage of after-tax income, with the largest cuts as a share of income going to taxpayers
in the 95th to 99th percentiles of the income distribution.

For Your Clients: Read a summary of how the tax reform bill will affect freelancers – then pass it on to your clients.

Professional Conference: Registration for the 2018 CDFI Institute is open. The 2018 Institute will take place on February 28 and March 1 at the Renaissance Hotel, located at 999 9th Street NW in Washington, D.C.

Moving Main Street Forward: AEO’s microbusiness and microfinance conference is a must-attend event for professionals providing capital, technical assistance and other forms of trusted guidance to Main Street and microbusiness owners. The agenda will be packed with inspiring keynotes, thought-provoking plenaries and compelling breakout sessions designed to engage attendees in bold and provocative conversations on using inclusion, innovation and investment to move Main Streets across the country forward. See you in Detroit, Michigan, April 30 to May 2, 2018.

New Report: The Federal Reserve’s Small Business Credit Survey released “Report on Rural Employer Firms” while we were on holiday. Highlights include: Firms in rural areas are more stable and face less financing constraints; and small banks play a bigger role in rural areas.