Microlending Essentials Wrap Up; Small Business Saturday; Local Entrepreneurship

In this Must Know…

  • Microlending Essentials Wrap-Up
  • Small Business Saturday
  • Support for Local Entrepreneurship
  • Read our op-ed published in The Hill – “Tax reform for the growing gig economy.” – for a good summary of the proposals we would like to see.
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is to give the State of California feedback – take part in a very brief and important survey about their Secure Choice program. The survey will only be available until Monday November 20 at 12:00pm.

Microlending Essentials Wrap-Up

CAMEO held our first hands-on underwriting training in Los Angeles last week. In this three day workshop microlenders and business development providers learned about underwriting, global cash, credit history, debt-to-income and bank statement analysis. Participants applied underwriting criteria and wrote credit memos based on examples of real microloan applications, made recommendations, and structures each deal.

This technical training was set into context of mission, target market and scaling a community lending program. Participants had this to say:

As a business coach, this training helped me understand how the loan process works. I have more knowledge to prepare clients before they apply for a loan. – Edwin Rodriguez, Mission Economic Development Agency
I believe that you taught us a golden rule that is often missed: As a lender (and more generally as a businessperson), we are actively trying to reach a “yes” without compromising our standards. – Mohammed Al Ani, International Rescue Committee
I started this session with minimal understanding of the underwriting process and am walking away feeling well-equipped to help my organization with our loan program. This course shed light on the importance of a structured process and has encouraged us to review how to scale our growth and impact. – Alejandra Garcia, Leadership for Urban Renewal Network
Susan was fantastic. All the materials were digestible. She helped us understand the very differing roles of TA provider and lender. – Azusena Favela Leadership for Urban Renewal Network

For business coaching organizations, this training helped staff think like a lender so that their loan referrals are more likely to be funded. These organizations will be able to train business clients in the key components most likely to get them qualified for financing. Finally, staff can now talk specific underwriting terms to lenders, to better discern how to channel referrals to the most appropriate lender.

For community lenders the training provided a framework to make more consistent credit decisions for stronger portfolio performance and loan volume for greater impact.

CAMEO wants to offer this valuable information to more audiences. Please contact us if you are interested in this training.

Small Business Saturday and Local Entrepreneurship

Over the past seven years, Small Business Saturday has grown from a holiday shopping tradition to a nationwide movement celebrating the small businesses that unite our diverse local communities. CAMEO is proud to support locally grown businesses and encourage people to shop small. The first step is getting businesses involved! Your clients can visit ShopSmall.com/YourDay to find:

  • Marketing Materials: Businesses can create customized marketing materials for their storefronts, websites, and social networks, and download them for free.
  • Merchandise: Transform store fronts and make an impression with free merchandise from American Express, while supplies last. Quantities are limited
  • Tips and Insights: Find more inspiration and ideas for businesses. Learn how to make the most of Small Business Saturday from fellow business owners.

You can encourage them to engage their followers on socialmedia using #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall.

Join our colleagues for a call with former Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills to discuss the importance of Small Business Saturday and open enrollment for health coverage for 2017 – Monday, November 20, 2017 at 11:30 am PST // 2:30pm EST.

Support for Local Entrepreneurship

Marco Zappacosta, the head of Thumbtack, writes “Instead of courting Amazon, cities should do more to support local startups.” Bay Area cities are working to create a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, take San Francisco’s LOAKL, a Northern California-based social enterprise that helps customers find books across local, independent bookstores. When you shop locally, you invest in your community. You know this, but sometimes buying online is easier. Now you can buy online and buy local.

And we know that business coaching and training plus microloans leads to greater business success. This past summer, CAMEO Board Member Boku Kodama launched Entrepreneurs Education Initiative, a collaboration that joins the organizations working to train entrepreneur in the Bay Area under one umbrella. From their website:

In one of the most economically divided regions of the country, our common goal is serving under-represented individuals striving for more for themselves, their families and their communities. In providing the full breadth of entrepreneurial education, services and connections, we can build a self-determined, self-sufficient population, capable of regaining control of their lives.

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!

FYI: Trump Administration Appoints Kim Dolbow Vann to Serve as State Director for USDA Rural Development in California.

Member in the News: Opportunity Fund CEO Luz Urrutia writes in Forbes– “Small Businesses And Low-Income Americans Will Lose Under New Budget Cuts To CDFI And NMTC Programs.”

Member Kudos: Working Solutions received a $250,000 grant through the Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital Program to expand our services to diverse small businesses in the East Bay! And they had a record breaking year with 123 loans totaling $3.77 million for their fiscal year – that’s 46% more loans and 66% more dollars than last year.

State Survey on Retirement Program: As a members of the small business community, the State of California is looking for your feedback and would like you to take part in a very brief and important survey about their Secure Choice program. The survey will only be available until Monday November 20 at 12:00pm.

For Your Clients: The California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Majority Access are presenting an access to capital webinar in Spanish on November 21, and December 14 at 10:00am PT // 1:00pm ET. Click the links for registration and information in Spanish.

Webinar: Join OFN next Tuesday, November 21 at 11:00am PT // 2:00pm ET for a discussion about the 2017 Small Business Credit Survey, a national survey conducted by the 12 Reserve Banks in the Federal Reserve System. Presenters from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta will discuss the purpose of this annual survey, the types of data it collects and how it informs the work of policymakers, researchers and service providers. Presenters will also discuss how CDFIs can get involved as survey partners. CAMEO is a partner with the Federal Reserve on a Small Business Credit Survey for both pre-start and existing businesses to help business service providers and lenders understand real-time business conditions. You can also send the following email to your clients to take the survey. Deadline is mid-December.

SUBJECT LINE: “How is your business doing?” Or “Small Business Owners: Make your voice heard!”

Dear Business Owner or Manager,

As a CAMEO member, [MYORGNAME] is partnering with the Federal Reserve on a Small Business Credit Survey for both pre-start and existing businesses, and we’d like you to participate. Your answers will help business service providers and lenders understand real-time business conditions. This short survey takes less than 9 minutes to complete. Individual responses are confidential and summary results will be shared with you.

Take the survey today!

Questions? Contact SmallBusinessResearch@atl.frb.org.

If you have problems with the link above, copy and paste the following URL into a new browser window: https://frbatlanta.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0pQZOEEPPnpFNlj?orgid=CAMEO&parentid=&reserve_bank=SF.

For Your Client – Healthcare: Covered California open enrollment for 2018 began November 1 and is open through January 31, 2018. Covered California is the only insurance marketplace in California where eligible consumers can receive financial assistance to help pay for their health insurance. 8 in 10 Californians enrolled in Covered California receive financial assistance with most people being able to find premiums less than $100 per month. Although open enrollment lasts until January 31, 2018, you must enroll by December 15, 2017, in order to have your coverage begin on January 1, 2018.

Funding Opportunity (Loan Guarantee): Funds are available now through USDA Rural Development’s B&I Loan Guarantee Program to help you support rural businesses with a variety of projects including start-up, expansion, refinancing, and disaster recovery.

For Your Client: Do you know a small business owner with an amazing success story to tell? If so, submit your nomination today for the 2018 National Small Business Week Awards. All nominations must be mailed or hand delivered to the nearest SBA Office no later than 3:00 pm ET on January 9, 2018. Consult the Awards Guidelines for details.

For Your Client: The Specialty Food Association is offering your CAMEO members’ clients a 25% discount to attend its educational workshop, The Basics, being held at the Mission Bay Conference Center prior to the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco on January 20, 2018, 8:00am–5:00pm. The Basics offers actionable insights on the specialty food industry through sharing valuable business advice from successful industry veterans. It’s a must-attend event for anyone who is learning about the specialty food business, new to Fancy Food Shows, or looking for some fresh insights to enhance their success in the industry. With this offer, the price for The Basics is reduced from $199 to just $149 for CAMEO partners. Contact us to get the code for your clients.

New Report: A study examining disparities in small business lending conducted by the Woodstock Institute found that Fresno minority businesses are losing out in capital and turning to merchant cash advances. (Yikes!) Access Capital, a CAMEO member, is trying to refinance some of those loans.

CAMEO Tool: Susan Brown, our microlending expert, created Phase I of a Community Loan Policy Manual Workbook to assist community lenders to create fully developed loan policies manual. Lenders of every stripe that address each topic and answer all the questions will have a complete loan manual that reflects a comprehensive approach to the details of running a high-quality program.