Happy Holidays! A ‘gift’ from Congress

In this week’s Must Know:

  • Happy Holidays! A ‘gift’ from Congress
  • Building the Microloan Pipeline
  • The Goodies: information on important opportunities like trainings, funding, scholarship programs. This week’s highlight is a TV appearance with Claudia, Sharon Miller (Renaissance Center) and Emily Gasner (Working Solutions) on Friday, December 16th at 8:30 PM on Comcast channel 15 – KMTV in the Bay Area. Learn more about the program and where to see it.

Happy Holidays! A ‘gift’ from Congress

All of us- CAMEO, AEO and our colleagues did it! The Senate and the House conference committees have come to an agreement (see Division C), which the House passed this morning. The Senate is now expected to pass the bill. Here’s how micro-related funding breaks down (barring a meltdown – so keep your fingers crossed).

  • PRIME – $3.5 million
  • Microloan TA – $20 million
  • Microloan Lending – $3.67 million which supports $25 million in lending authority
  • SBDCs – $112.5 Million
  • WBCs – $14 Million
  • CDFI Fund – $221 million

At the beginning of the budget debate we were looking at $15 million for PRIME and Microloan TA. We ended up with $23.5 million. We consider this a great success in the face of the current climate. I say ‘gift’ in quotes because we all know that number needs to be more like $100 million (or MORE!). Dreaming aside, we are thrilled that our collaborative hard work has paid off. Thanks to all of you who wrote letters, made phone calls and visited your representatives. We did it!

Building the Microloan Pipeline

CAMEO is launching new programs for building microlending in California. We will hold our first training of 2012 – Financial Training Workshop for Business Counselors – on Wednesday January 25- Thursday, January 26. This is an intensive, nine-hour, in-person training.

Help your business clients successfully qualify for a microloan. Send your staff to this workshop to learn how to develop loan-ready microenterprise clients. They will learn what lenders are looking for, common eligibility criteria and how determine a quality loan referral.

On Wednesday, a panel of leading microlenders will answer questions about referring clients, eligibility and underwriting criteria. On Thursday, Susan Brown will lead an all day workshop on understanding financial statements, creating cash flow projections and best practices for microloan referrals. Emily Gasner, CEO of Working Solutions told our bay area members that training led by Susan Brown shouldn’t be missed!

The workshop will take place at the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center in San Francisco. Learn more and register.

The Goodies

New opportunities for trainings, conference information, funding, scholarships, and other information that have crossed our desks since the last Must Know. A running tab of current Goodies is on the CAMEO website.

Micro Marketing Webinar: We had a very successful Micro Marketing webinar to learn about a really neat new tool for your clients called pubfish that allows them to have a web presence in minutes. If you missed it and would like to attend, find out when the next webinar is and/or let your clients know about it.

Award Nomination: The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco welcomes you to submit your nomination for the 2012 Community Reinvestment Awards: Strengthening Small Businesses for Economic Recovery. The awards will be given at the 2012 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference in Seattle in March, 2012. The deadline for nominations is January 13, 2012.

New Report: PPIC has issued The Great Recession and Distribution of Income in California. One of the major findings is that because of the recent downturn, the percentage of Californians living in middle–income families fell to a new low of less than 50 percent.

Job Opening: Visit our jobs page for available positions in the industry.

For your clients: Little Independent is a website that seeks to be the alternative to Amazon for small businesses. Your clients can list items for very low cost to sell online and capture a large audience. Pass on their brochure to your clients.

For your clients: CARAT is providing technology training programs for free to small businesses in California. Check out the schedules for December 2011 and January 2012.

Until next year,

Heidi Pickman
Communications Manager

P.S. Amazon update: We responded to last week’s promotion by Amazon.com announced that “paid customers up to $5 to go into a local store, scan an item, walk out, and buy the same item on Amazon” (Gawker) with a petition to stop the promotion. We ended up with 500 signatures. Amazon went through with the promotion (big surprise), but we wrote a letter to Jeff Bezos asking him to stop these types of promotions and to compensate the small business owners for the use of their assets. We will keep you posted on further action.