Miss CAMEO Goes to Sacto and This Week's Federal Policy Update

  • Miss CAMEO goes to Sacto
  • Federal Policy
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is the application period for the next California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) starts Monday, March 6, 2017, with more than $68 million in available tax credits.The deadline to submit applications is Monday, March 27, 2017, at 11:59pm PT (Pacific Time). All businesses can apply. Scroll down for more info.
  • Miss CAMEO goes to Sacto

    CAMEO has been busy this week! Claudia is in DC and will report back for next week’s newsletter. And I testified earlier this week about how microbusiness ownership and self-employment is a strategy for upward mobility. The Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy hosted an informational hearing entitled “Overview of the California Economy: Supporting Upward Mobility through Economic Growth.” Several speakers talked about California from a macroeconomic perspective and then a panel discussed “Entrepreneurship and other Strategies for Upward Mobility.” Participants included:

    • Scott Hauge, President and Founder, Small Business California
    • Malaki Seku-Amen, President and Chief Executive Officer, California Urban Partnership
    • Heidi Pickman, Communications and Policy Director, California Association for Microenterprise Opportunity

    Read my testimony: Entrepreneurship and other Strategies for Upward Mobility.

    Federal Policy

    So much is going on at the federal policy level, this may become a new regular feature of the Must Know – or we may need a break.

    The president signed two bills to promote women entrepreneurship and STEMH.R. 255: Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act and H.R. 321: Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act. H.R. 255 promotes women’s entrepreneurship in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), fields by encouraging the National Science Foundation (NSF) to recruit and support women to extend their focus beyond research and into the commercial world. H.R. 321 directs NASA to encourage women and girls to study STEM, and pursue aerospace careers. This is great for the high skilled and high tech, but won’t have much effect on the full spectrum of women entrepreneurs.

    On the heels of the president’s speech last night to a joint Congress, Ann Sullivan, our woman in DC, wrote a fun, easy to understand guide to what’s likely to be Congress’s priorities in the next couple of months. The priorities are big – defense, tax reform, budget deficits – and don’t leave much headspace for members to think about our priorities – FY 2017 and FY 2018 appropriations.

    Finally, David Brodwin of the American Sustainable Business Council wrote “6 Ways Donald Trump Could Actually Run the US Like a Business.”

    And because there’s so much going on, here are actions to take that we feel protect or bolster the entrepreneurial ecosystem:

    **The U.S. House of Representatives voted to adopt HJR 66 and HJR 67, which would do significant harm to small businesses. Striking down this Department of Labor rule would have a chilling effect on states that are setting up their own retirement savings programs, which would be especially problematic for small employers, given that a majority are unable to offer retirement plans due to a variety of barriers. We strongly believe states should be allowed to decide whether to implement these types of programs and how best to administer them in order to serve small businesses and employees who struggle to save for retirement.

    **The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has kept predators from rigging the system against small business and consumers. Congress aims to strip the CFPB of its power and undo many of the rules it is enforcing. ASBC and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) have joined to petition Congress that a stable marketplace depends on the CFPB doing its job.

    **To ensure that Assets for Independence (AFI) program and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grants do not get swept up into Congress’s massive spending cuts, we have to make sure that Congress hears your voice NOW, just as the House appropriations process begins. CFED is collecting support letters for both (click above links). AFI has enabled more than 9,400 Americans to become homeowners and 6,400 entrepreneurs to start or expand a small business. Free tax assistance resulted in more than $2.2 billion returning to local communities in 2016 – dollars spent to cover child expenses and transportation costs, pay bills, purchase household necessities, as well as to save for the future.

    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!

    CAMEO In the News: “Investing in women entrepreneurs nets a huge return on investment,” published in The Hill; “Entrepreneurs thrash out future of flexible work” in the San Francisco Chronicle; and The Present and Future of On-Demand Work on the Shareable blog.

    Financial Coaching Best Practices: CFED is developing a Financial Coaching Design Guide that will compile lessons from the field to help practitioners develop and implement strong financial coaching programs. Please complete this survey to build the knowledge base and increase the collective understanding of the financial coaching field! The Guide will be published in Summer 2018.

    Small Business Lending: In June 2016 OFN launched Venturize, a digital public awareness and education campaign designed to inform small business owners about their financing options and help them prepare for the borrowing process. It’s now available in Spanish.

    For Your Clients: The next California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) application period starts Monday, March 6, 2017, with more than $68 million in available tax credits. Businesses interested in applying can register to view a live webinar explaining the application process. This program is open to any business planning to create new full-time jobs in the state, regardless of size or location. The deadline to submit applications is Monday, March 27, 2017, at 11:59pm PT (Pacific Time). Webinars are March 7, 2017 and March 16, 2017 (click on date for more info).

    Celebrate International Women’s Day: Join the National Women’s Business Council in celebrating women, at our next Public Meeting during Women’s History Month – A Celebration of Women Business Owners: History, Participation and Progress on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 from 11:00am – 1:00pm PT // 2:00pm to 4:00pm ET, via web conference. Download their new research report: Social Entrepreneurship Amongst Women and Men in the United States.

    Workforce and Micro: The California Workforce Association and California Workforce Development Board have joined forces with the California Community Colleges to facilitate a series of 17 conversations called – Partnerships that Unlock Social Mobility. The remaining ones are in March and April in Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz/Monterey, Riverside, San Diego, Richmond, Santa Clara, Redding, Eureka and Napa. We urge you to attend and make the voice of entrepreneurship heard. Our goal is for local WIBs to partner with CAMEO members to provide training. Please let us know if you are able to make it and what you’ve learned.

    For Your Clients: The U.S. SBA opened the third year of the InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Challenge (the Challenge), pursuant to the America Competes Act, for entrepreneurs to create a product or service that has a measurable impact on the lives of women and families, the potential for commercialization, and fills a need in the marketplace. Organizations that wish to host a local competition as part of the initial round of this Challenge must send a request to the SBA no later than March 10, 2017. (Click on first link in sentence and scroll half way down the page.)

    Grant Opportunity: AARP Foundation presents Work for Yourself@50+, a new initiative designed to help low- and moderate-income older adults explore opportunities to work for themselves and take the first steps toward successful self-employment. This initiative includes the “Five Simple Steps to Get You Started” toolkit, workshop, and interactive website. Eligible organizations can apply to host the workshop component. AARP Foundation is extending a special invitation to member organizations and contacts of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity to apply for the Work for Yourself@50+ initiative. Please use the AEO Request for Applications link to find details regarding grantee expectations, support, timeline and eligibility. The application deadline is March 17, 2017.

    Networking/Professional Development Event: Our colleagues from ASBC are hosting “How Re-Imagining Capitalism Can Inspire Both Personal and Large Scale Positive Change” on Wednesday, March 22, 2017from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at Hanson Bridgett, 425 Market Street, 26th Floor, San Francisco, California.

    Advocacy Day: This year, OFN’s Advocacy Day will take place on May 16–17, 2017. During Advocacy Day, your voice is needed to make the case to members of Congress and Administration officials about the importance of funding for the CDFI Fund, the industry, and our communities.

    Funding Opportunity: OFN announced their NEXT Fund for Innovation, a pilot that will provide flexible capital in amounts ranging from $500,000 to $2 million to CDFIs with innovative ideas. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis now through June 30, 2017. The fund is open to all qualifying CDFIs, including non-OFN Members and past NEXT Awards recipients.