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Ms. CAMEO Goes to DC, Sacto; Building a Value Proposition

  • Save the Date: CAMEO’s Annual Member Meeting and Advocacy Day is June 7, 2016 at the Sheraton in Sacramento
  • Share and Celebrate: Happy #WomensHistoryMonth – Between 2002 and 2012, women launched an average of 928 net new firms each and every day.
  • Ms. CAMEO Goes to DC and Sacramento
  • Building a Value Proposition
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is AEO’s EconoCon25 is May 18-20, 2016 in Washington, DC. Register today for early bird prices (extended until April 14, 2016.) Check out the EconoCon25 agenda.

Ms. CAMEO Goes to DC and Sacramento

Claudia has been very busy promoting the micro sector in the halls of power. Last week, she was in Washington, D.C. and had several really productive meetings.

CAMEO has stepped up as a voice for rural development as a result of large funding cuts to programs. We are building support with other partners to promote USDA’s Rural Business Development program. Representative Sam Farr (D-Watsonville) asked us to submit comments for the budget to the Appropriations Committee. Also, we continue to strengthen our relationships with the SBA. Claudia had a warm meeting with Barb Carson who heads the SBA’s veterans program to promote another VBOC in California that will focus on women veterans. We also learned that the next SBA PRIME grant will emphasize services for formerly incarcerated and micro lending capacity building.

Claudia testified about small business assistance earlier this week at the Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy committee’s review of Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) office. One of the main concerns of the committee has been whether Go-Biz is serving lower income communities that have not recovered from the Great Recession. Claudia testified that because California has the highest income inequality in the U.S., more resources need to be invested in micro and small businesses that are creating all the net new jobs. Business ownership is one of the pillars of wealth creation. We also submitted written testimony on the DIY Economy and the case for state support.

While Claudia made the case of what the state should be doing, others testified as to what the state has done. Here’s a sampling:

  • In 2015, the state gave the SBDCs $2 million for credit business assistance, which was leveraged to obtain over $200 million in capital for California’s small businesses. The same level of funding was granted for this year; in 6 months, the SBDCs have generated $94 million.
  • The Go-Biz business portal opened in July 2015 with all sorts of information on starting a business and navigating the state’s resources.
  • Jesse Torres, the Small Business Advocate, is reaching out to small businesses and has set up quarterly meetings with a large number of stakeholders. He has held about 40 meetings with small businesses around the state.

Your clients may be able to benefit from other programs from GO-Biz like the California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC). Go-Biz is hosting free webinars in March for businesses interested in applying. Go-Biz will accept applications for the CCTC from through March 28, 2016. There will be at least $81 million in tax credits available for businesses that are expanding and adding jobs in the state. Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to apply (including microbusinesses!) Since June 2014, Go-Biz has awarded $223 million in tax credits to 330 companies projected to create over 42,000 jobs and make $10.2 billion in investments in California.

Building a Value Proposition

OFN is offering a webinar series focused on growth and innovation for small business lenders to help us understand and navigate through this new landscape. These ideas aren’t only for lenders, training programs can apply many of these ideas. CAMEO will follow each session with dynamic peer group calls to digest and apply what was learned. Susan Brown will lead the calls. Both CEOs and line staff can benefit from this rich training opportunity.

The next OFN webinar is on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 11:00am: Building a Value Proposition.

Join the follow-up CAMEO peer call on Monday, April 7, 2016 at 11:00am to discuss the unique set of products and services that you offer your customers and how you distinguish yourself from competitors..

For the full schedule of OFN webinars and peer calls, visit the Small Business Financing Webinar Series post on our website.

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!

Members in the News: Cutting Edge Capital and EDFC were on the California Report for investing locally.

Take Action: We’re asking all of our members to hold district meetings with their California state representatives to inform California’s small business leaders and elected officials on what good capital looks like. We’ll follow up with meetings in Sacramento at our annual meeting. This is an issue they need to know about!

For Your Clients:Are you a small business, entrepreneur or scientist interested in technology-based agriculture innovations? Are you interested in collaborating with world class scientists? Then you should attend the webinar – Partnership Pays: Building a Relationship with ARS to Enhance Your USDA SBIR Proposal – on March 29, 2016 at 11:30am PT // 2:30pm ET.

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. Register today! Early bird registration prices have been extended until April 14, 2016. Check out the EconoCon25 agenda.

CDFI Fund Applications: The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) opened the fiscal year (FY) 2016 funding round for the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program). Congress appropriated $153 million for CDFI Program awards; $22 million for Healthy Food Financing Initiative Financial Assistance (HFFI-FA) awards; and $15.5 million for NACA Program awards. Applications must be submitted by April 18, 2016.