MicroLenders Forum; We’re Responsive, Are You?

MicroLenders Forum

We are thrilled to announce that only a handful of seats remain for our 2016 MicroLender’s Forum, co-hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The Forum is a time for our microlender members to convene with their peers to discuss obstacles, challenges, and successes, and to be inspired by one another. We have a great day planned that includes:

  • an engaging member session in the morning,
  • lunch with our bank partners,
  • a special guest speaker – Ami Kassar a prominent thought leader in the online lending sphere and founder MultiFunding, and
  • an afternoon of discussion on the sector’s role in the new landscape of small business lending and what role CAMEO will play.

Find out more juicy details on the day at our MicroLenders Forum Preview on our website.

Newish Website, NTEN and Benefits

A few communications updates for you this week…

CAMEO’s website is new – kind of. You won’t see any major difference when you visit, unless it’s from a mobile phone or tablet. Last week, we complete the transition to responsive web design (RWD) – something that happens on the back end. Ethan Marcotte defined RWD in A List Apart as design that responds to the needs of the users and their devices. According to a Google developer’s site. “The layout changes based on the size and capabilities of the device. For example, on a phone, users would see content shown in a single column view; a tablet might show the same content in two columns.”

So, why is this important? Mobile traffic accounts for more than half of total internet traffic. As desktop traffic levels out, mobile use is only growing. And it’s important if you want clients to find you. If they’re searching from a mobile device (good and growing chance they are!), Google boosts the ratings of sites that are mobile friendly. If your website doesn’t conform to RWD, it should. If you have questions, let me know.

If you’re interested in learning about how you and your organization can stay on top of this trend and other trends – not to mention learn best practices, and get the support you need to use technology in a way that will truly fulfill your mission – then have a staff member or two attend the2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference (16NTC). This year it’s in San Jose, California from March 23 – 25. Over 2,000 non-profit professionals will gather to share ideas, tactics, and strategies on using tech – in your communications efforts, as well as your programming. I’ll be going. If you have any questions about the conference, reach out to the organizers at NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network. Don’t forget that we offer professional development assistance.

Last, but not least – we’ve brought back the professional media relations tool as a member benefit. You’ll have access to a database of journalists to send press releases. Email me for more information. Be sure to to renew your membership to our dynamic network by February 1 to take advantage of this and other member benefits.

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!

SOTU Update: I attended last week’s call following the SOTU. The implications of President Obama’s SOTU remarks for small business can be found in an update of last week’s Must Know.

New Member Magazine: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center recenly published a quarterly magazine online -download ReSource and share with your networks.

CFED Scorecard: Join CFED at 9:00am PST // noon EST on Monday, January 25 for the webinar release of the 2016 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard. Each year, the Scorecard offers the most comprehensive look available at Americans’ financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. One highlight is particularly concerning – the growing divide between white-owned and minority-owned businesses.

For Your Clients: The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) announced a series of 15 workshops across California designed to help businesses apply for the California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC). Your clients can benefit from the $75 million in tax credits available to business that want to come to California or stay and grow in California. The next application session is from January 4-25, 2016. A number of very small businesses have received tax credits of $20,000 or more, including an accounting services firm, a commercial printer and an animal memorial services company.

Funding Opportunity: The U.S. SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership announces a Women’s Business Center Grant Opportunity. The purpose of this grant is to provide funding for up to six (6) non-profit organizations that will provide services to the population of Alaska, California, Guam, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas or West Virginia to start a new, community-based Women’s Business Center (WBC). Deadline is January 28, 2016.

CDFI Fund Applications: The Department of Treasury announced that they are now accepting applications for the CDFI Fund. CDFI Certification Applications must be received by the CDFI Fund by February 12, 2016. Qualified Issuer Applications must be submitted by March 4, 2016. Guarantee Applications must be submitted by March 18, 2016. Friedman and Associates is accepting requests to write CDFI FA and TA applications. E-mail Jason by February 1 to discuss your needs.

AEO National Conference: Save the date May 18-20, 2016 in Washington, DC to celebrate 25 years! EconoCon25 gathers actors in the small business space who impact America’s smallest businesses and underserved entrepreneurs — lenders, nonprofit and for-profit service providers, advocates and policy makers, entrepreneurs, funders and investors — for meaningful dialogue about how to innovate faster, partner smarter, and execute better.

Member Kudos: Jenny Kassan, formerly of Cutting Edge Capital, was appointed to the SEC’s small business advisory committee. She’s also written a free e-book – How to Get a YES! from Investors.