Microlending and Data Collection

In this week’s Must Know

  • Microlending Forum
  • New Federal Resources for Small/Micro-business
  • The Goodies: This week’s highlight is the CFED Scorecard that rates states on financial assets, business ownership, jobs, housing. Read California’s asset profile.

Microlending Forum

MLForum2013BYesterday, about 60 microlenders, loan packagers, and bankers attended CAMEO’s Microlending Summit at the San Francisco Federal Reserve. A big thanks to the Lena Robinson and the Fed for convening this group to talk about how to scale-up microlending in California.

Because of increased competition and tightening markets, banks are examining their programs for costs and benefits. Fred Mendez of Rabobank called on the micro industry to advocate for ourselves and advocate for our programs, not rely our mission, but on the value that we provide. Both Fred and Kim Kaselionis, a Women’s Initiative board member and former bank president, talked about quantifying our impacts and collecting good data in order to prove the value of our programs. This may includes jobs, business start-ups and revenues, but also perhaps the additional business you bring the bank. Fred mentioned that he’d like to see participation in microTracker to help him make informed choices and justify his investment choices.

Speaking of which… on Tuesday, February 12 from 10:00-11:30 am (PT) // 1:00-2:30pm (EST), microTracker hosts a webinar to learn more about how to benchmark business development services. Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI) will share how they used microTracker to guide its strategic planning, advocacy and fundraising, and in marketing to prospective clients about their likely outcomes. Register now to join CAMEO, microTracker and JEDI.

New Federal Resources for Small/Micro-Business

The Affordable Care Act or ACA enacted comprehensive health insurance reforms designed to ensure Americans have access to quality, affordable health insurance. Check out the provisions for businesses with fewer than 25 employees and the self-employed.

The U.S. government has a new contracting program called RFP-EZ, a streamlined process for the federal government to do business with small companies for contracts of up to $150,000. Right now it’s a pilot program, but expect it to grow!

The Treasury issued new home office deductions rules.

The Small Business Majority has compiled the federal tax deductions and other clean energy incentives for small businesses.

The Goodies

New opportunities for trainings, 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 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!

New VideoCAMEO Connects: Self-employment and entrepreneurship translates to jobs, local economic development and community. You’ll find it on the CAMEO YouTube Channel. Please subscribe to our channel and help spread the micro message. Other ways to connect with CAMEO online: follow CAMEO @HeidiMicro on Twitter; subscribe to our news stream of micro-business articles on scoop.it; and of course, ‘like’ MicroBizCA on Facebook.

New Report: CFED released the 2013 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, revealing that despite strong signs of economic recovery, millions of Americans are still living on the brink of financial disaster. The Scorecard rates states on financial assets, business ownership, jobs, housing. Thanks to Andrew for pulling out California’s asset profile.

Community Capital Webinar: BALLE hosts The Farmer Reserve Fund Model: The Farmer Reserve Fund Model: Microloans that Leverage Credit Union and Community Partner Capacity on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 : 10:00am PT. Note there is a charge.This innovative program has multiplied access to capital for farmers in need while providing them with technical assistance and banking relationships that improve their credit history and future access to more traditional capital.

Award Application: The National Development Council will recognize the country’s most dedicated and innovative community development professionals and their work through their peer-selected NDC Academy 2013 Awards. Submit your project for the chance to exhibit your work at the Academy and on Capitol Hill. The projects that receive the most votes will win an NDC Academy 2013 Award (plus free tuition to an NDC course of your choice)! Projects may be submitted in four categories: Creative Financing, Job Creation, Housing Development, Community Development. Carefully review the Project Submission Instructions, Selection Criteria and Display Guidelines to prepare your project for submission by March 18, 2013, 2:00pm PT // 5:00pm ET. Register for one of two webinars to learn more: Feb. 5 and Feb. 27, 2013, 10:00-11:00am PT / 1:00-2:00pm ET.

Agricultural Risk Management Workshop: AgriLogic Consulting, in coordination with the USDA Risk Management Agency, will be hosting educational workshops throughout the state of California (attention: Central Coast and Central Valley) targeting local Hispanic, women, and new agricultural producers. Check the workshop schedule and find out more information. They are also looking for speakers.

For Your Clients: CNBC is currently accepting submissions for an upcoming reality series titled The Big Fix in which self-made millionaire and CEO of Camping World Marcus Lemonis will invest up to $2 million of his fortune by giving small businesses extreme makeovers. To apply, business owners should send an e-mail describing their background and current situation by February 22, 2013.

CDFI Conference: The 2013 CDFI Institute will be held on February 28 – March 1 at the Capital Hilton in Washington,DC. The agenda includes the 2014 federal budget, expansion to rural areas, and private sector sources of capital.

Grant opportunity: The Union Bank Foundation announced two special funding initiatives for nonprofit providers of small business technical assistance and homeownership counseling. Requests for proposals on these initiatives with details on the application process can be found on the Union Bank website. The final deadline is February 28th.

Grant Opportunity: The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) released Notices of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the fiscal year (FY) 2013 funding rounds of the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program). The CDFI Fund expects to provide up to $165 million in Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance awards for FY 2013 (funding is subject to Congressional appropriations). Learn more and apply (search for CDFI) by February 28, 2013.

AEO Conference: AEO’s national conference, Tilt Forward, will be May 5-8, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. If you’re not an AEO member, CAMEO members receive a $75 discount with the code SMA2013. If you’re an AEO member, registration fees are 50% of the full conference price – another reason to join.

AEO and FIELD Membership Discount: You save $100 on AEO membership and $100 on a one-year MicroTracker Premium Plan subscription – that’s a total value of $500 for only $300! Learn more about the AEO/FIELD Membership Bundle. This is a must-buy, if you are not already an AEO member!

AEO Member Benefit: AEO has partnered with AmSher to provide AEO members a solution for debt collection. Learn more about this debt-recovery solution.