Membership, Financial Training, Goodies (lots)

In this week’s Must Know:

  • Membership – Join or Renew
  • Building the Micro Pipeline – deadline Monday
  • The Goodies: information on important opportunities like trainings, funding, scholarship programs. This week’s highlight is an AEO briefing on Community Advantage changes.

Certainly, CAMEO began 2012 with a bang. After our success in helping to save PRIME last year, we thought we could rest. But 2012 has eleven micro-related bills (two more discovered this week) roaming around Congress. In addition, Claudia was invited to join a group of four other small business experts in February to speak directly to Chairman Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governor’s about policies that would stimulate small business job creation in under-served communities.

Yesterday,we were in Sacramento with six CAMEO microlenders to advise the CalCap program about expanding their funding to non-bank, non-CDFIs per AB 901. We provided them with CARAT’s checklist and discussed how to evaluate the mission and background of applicants, that could include payday lenders and others. It was agreed that the critical success factor in micro lending is the provision of pre and post loan business/credit assistance.

Add to that a new financial training program (see below) and new projects that will streamline microlending and bring in new sources of capital. The year has just started.

We’re going to take a needed break from policy this week to take care of some CAMEO business and to tell you about the many opportunities that have crossed our desks this week.

Membership – Join or Renew

All of CAMEO’s activities raise public awareness of your work, increase resources, and build your capacity to expand – to help more entrepreneurs start businesses and to put more money on Main Street through our microlenders.

Renew your membership or join CAMEO! Our dynamic network of organizations and individuals build businesses that create local jobs and grow the Californian economy through Micro-Enterprise development. Join by February 1 to be included in our directory that is distributed to members and sponsors.

A big thanks to those of you who have taken care of your 2012 CAMEO membership!

Building the Micro Pipeline

It’s not too late to register for CAMEO’s Financial Training Workshop for Business Counselors – on Wednesday January 25- Thursday, January 26 in San Francisco. This is an intensive, nine-hour, in-person training.

Susan Brown will lead a day and a half 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!

Learn more and register by close of business Monday, January 23, 2012.

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.

Community Advantage Briefing: AEO is hosting a briefing on changes to the SBA’s Community Advantage Pilot Program. If you’re a current and prospective Community Advantage lenders, register for the briefing on Tuesday, 24 January at 11:00 am PST / 2:00 pm EST. Patrick Kelley, Senior Advisor to the Associate Administrator of the Office of Capital Access, will present an overview of the Community Advantage program and answer your questions.

Free webinar: Assets for Independence grantees attend the Red Light, Green Light: Determining IDA Applicants’ Eligibility webinar on Tuesday, January 24, 3:30-4:30 p.m. EST / 12:30-1:30 p.m. PST.

Free webinar: CFED will release the 2012 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard in a national webinar on January 31 at 9:00am PST //noon EST. The webinar, The 2012 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard: How Financially Secure are Families?, will highlight key national and state findings, including the latest asset poverty rates and other measures of financial security and opportunity. Register to find out how your state fares in helping its residents achieve financial security.

Grant Opportunity: In 2012 the California Consumer Protection Foundation will be accepting applications for approximately $1 million of grants under the Telecommunication Consumer Education Fund (TCEF). Successful TCEF projects will support the efforts of community-based organizations to ensure that Californians become more informed, savvy consumers of wireless telecom services. The 2012 application deadlines are February 1, 2012 and May 1, 2012. Learn more.

Grant Opportunity: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced the availability of $20.6 million in grant funding for the Reintegration of Ex-Offenders Adult Program. DOL expects to award 17 grants of approximately $1.2 million each for 27-months. Any non-profit organizations with IRS 501(c)(3) status may apply for these grants to provide pre-release and post-release services (including job training) to ex-offenders returning to high-poverty, high-crime communities. The Solicitation for Grant Applications is available on the Employment and Training Administration website. The deadline is March 13, 2012. Note to CAMEO members: you may want to partner with other prison groups to go after the funding and provide self-employment training.

Economic Gardening Professional Certification: The National Center for Economic Gardening is now accepting applications for the spring Economic Gardening Professional Certification program. After completing the online application, please submit your resume electronically to Jessica Nelson, Operations Manager, Entrepreneurship Department, Edward Lowe Foundation.

CDFI Conference: Registration for the 2012 CDFI Institute is open! The Institute will take place on March 7th and 8th in Washington, DC at the Embassy Suites Convention Center Hotel. Learn more and register.

Small Business Loan Fund Conference: The NADO Research Foundation’s Economic Development Finance Service (EDFS) will host a conference on April 24-26, 2012 in Burlington, VT. The event includes sessions that offer best practice examples from peers, plenaries that bring in top notch leaders in small business finance and technical assistance, a roundtable of federal agency program staff and many opportunities for attendees to share and exchange information, suggestions for problem solving, and a format for learning about new programs or solutions that can be replicated in your region. Register and learn more.

For Your Clients: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is seeking nominations for awards honoring the critical economic role small businesses play in federally funded research and development through SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. The deadline for nominations is January 31, 2012.

For your clients:: CFED and Bank of the West are pleased to share a new Financial Education Guide designed specifically for taxpayers receiving assistance at VITA programs. This free, easy-to-read guide (available in English and Spanish) walks clients through some important things to consider when they receive their refunds to help them make the most of the money they expect to receive.

For Your Clients: Learn about a really neat new tool for your clients called pubfish that allows them to have a web presence in minutes. Find out when free webinars are offered (Tuesday and Thursdays in January) and/or let your clients know about it.

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

Take Action: Two-thirds of American small business leaders believe the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United v. FEC case hurts small companies. Our friends at the American Sustainable Business Council wants to overturn the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision. Learn more. Tomorrow is the two year anniversary.