Partner Profile and CAMEO legislation

  • Partner Profile – American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC)
  • SB 197 (Block) – Referral Fees Bill
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight includes many opportunities for your clients including tax credits, veterans business training, grants for small food producers, healthcare webinars and leadership training. Take a look and pass on the info!

Partner Profile – ASBC

The micro sector and locally owned businesses have different needs than large businesses. Couple that with a growing movement of business owners who have a broader way of thinking about the role and responsibility of business in society and you have a synergistic relationship between CAMEO and American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC).

ASBC formed five years ago to influence policy that fosters socially and environmentally responsible business practices. They serve as an alternative and more inclusive voice than the US Chamber of Commerce and many traditional business associations. Their members include a long list of organizations like BALLE and individual companies like Patagonia and Clif Bar – all focused on making policy changes to environmental, economic, and social areas. ASBC promotes a sustainable economy, i.e. one that provides economic development along with shared prosperity, environmental protection, and social justice. David Brodwin, Vice President of Media and Communications of ASBC says:

“The sustainable economy of the future depends heavily on strong investments in microbusinesses. Like CAMEO, the American Sustainable Business Council is committed to increasing the access to capital and services necessary to scale up this critical business segment.”

Claudia recently became the co-chair of ASBC’s Working Group for Women. She talks about scaling up business assistance services to women-owned microbusiness in the working group’s first blog post, “Boosting Women-Owned Businesses Will Boost the Economy” (and reposted at Also, ASBC was the conduit to Claudia’s testimony in Washington last September on how microbusiness can close the wealth gap. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.

SB 197 (Block) – Referral Fees Bill

This week, Senator Marty Block (D-39) introduced SB 197, relating to finance lenders, a bill that will increase capital access to underserved communities. CAMEO is proud and excited to co-sponsor this bill along with Opportunity Fund. This bill is crucial to California small and microbusinesses, especially underbanked ones, as they may not be learning about and receiving the most appropriate financing available. Senator Block is the chair of the Senate Banking Committee.

Senate Bill 197 would remove a competitive disadvantage that currently affects licensed commercial lenders in California. The bill would allow them to pay referral fees to those from whom they receive business, subject to certain restrictions intended to promote responsible lending. In essence, the bill would allow CAMEO’s microlenders to pay referral fees to consultants, non-profits (e.g. TA providers) and others who refer successful loans. It also will give your clients more information about affordable lending products.

You can read the Senate Banking Committee backgrounder on SB 197 and Opportunity Fund’s one pager on referral fees for more specifics on the bill.

We need your support! It will only take a couple of minutes. Send in a letter asap.

  1. Download the SB 197 Support Letter Template
  2. Put it on your letterhead
  3. Personalize to your organization (and feel free to edit)
  4. Email to:,, and cc me!

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

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!

Member Kudos: Congrats to Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center for today’s grand opening of East Palo Alto’s first and only small business incubator.

For Your Clients: Join the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) for a free workshop on how to apply for the California Competes Tax Credit. Workshops start on Monday, February 23, 2015 and take place from Eureka to Ventura and cities in between.

Healthcare Webinars: The Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority are helping businesses navigate health care through the webinar series What the Healthcare Law Means For Your California Small Business . It’s every two weeks in English and monthly in Spanish. The next ones are on February 26, 2015 at 11:00am and February 24, 2015 at 1:00pm respectively. Note the Small Business Health Option Program’s online enrollment function is on hold and will be back online in the fall. Businesses can still purchase insurance through the traditional paper process, working with your Certified agent or the SHOP Service Center. Also Small Business California helped create a new Spanish-language website to help Latino business owners and employees learn how to comply with the health care law.

For Your Clients: OBDC Small Business Finance launching business training programs for veterans. They have available space in their upcoming 10-week business training course, and welcome your referrals. We also appreciate your help by posting about this opportunity to your social media networks. The registration deadline is March 3, 2015.

For Your Clients: Working Solutions has teamed up with Whole Foods for their Small Producers Grant program. If you or someone you know has an exciting product, but need a little more capital to grow, this is the program for you. The deadline is March 4, 2015.

Small Business California survey: Our friends at Small Business California take an annual pulse of small businesses in California. Let microbusinesses be heard! Please send to your clients and small business owners. The survey takes 10-15 minutes to complete. The results will be sent to every legislator in the state, Governor Jerry Brown, and the media. The survey deadline is March 5, 2015.

Funding Opportunity: The CDFI Fund is providing an additional 45-day application submission window for any eligible organization that did not submit a SECA application by the original application deadline of November 24, 2014. Any new SECA applicant can also submit a HFFI application by following the instructions in the application guidance materials, which can be found on the CDFI Program pages of the CDFI Fund’s website and through New SECA applicants must submit their applications through by 11:59 PM EST on March 5, 2015.

Free Webinar: Last November, the Center for an Urban Future in New York City published “Small Business Success” – a report on the “secret sauce” for growing small businesses into medium-sized or large businesses. Join AEO on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 11:00am PT // 2:00pm ET for a webinar to discuss the report and its findings. Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208
Access code: 662 934 147.

SBA Funding Webinar: The SBA is hosting an upcoming best practices webinars for microlenders on March 12 at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ETBest Practices for Microloan TA Grant Applications. The meeting information is – Meeting number 1-888-858-2144, Access Code: 2390263, login at Learn about other webinars throughout the year on microlending and the community advantage program.

For Your Clients: The U.S. Small Business Administration Los Angeles District Office has launched the registration for its 2015 Emerging Leaders executive-level training series for Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Nationally, the Emerging Leaders Program has trained more than 2,400 promising small business owners in underserved communities, and its impact continues to expand in helping small businesses to grow and create jobs. Participant recruitment begins in February through SBA’s local district offices and classes typically begin in April. Learn more.

Impact Data: Do you need credible data on your organization’s micro and small business outcomes to support fundraising and program management? Aspen’s FIELD is signing up programs now to join the EntrepreneurTracker client outcomes survey process in 2015. Check out the one-page summary to get a visual idea of what EntrepreneurTracker is all about. Sign up ends April 3, 2015. To learn more about EntrepreneurTracker and how your organization can participate in 2015, please contact Tamra Thetford,

Economic Outlook: Forecast LA is an annual event that combines an economic forecast for the U.S., California, and Los Angeles, with original survey research to produce a comprehensive look at what lies ahead for Los Angeles County and its nearly 10 million residents. CAMEO members receive a $25 discount off the $175 ticket (use link). The event takes place on April 7, 2015, 8:00-12noon at Gersten Pavilion, 1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

Funding Opportunity: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS) today announced the next funding round for CED and CED-HFFI grants. These are extremely competitive grants that supports social enterprises that create jobs for low-income individuals and require a considerable amount of pre-planning. Friedman Associates will partner with a limited number of CDCs and CDFIs to write successful proposals. The grant deadlines are April 24, 2015.

Business Conference: NAWBO California ‘Propel Your Business’ Conference takes place on April 27-28, 2015 at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel. The theme is Think Bigger- Grow Strategically-Network Statewide.

Member Article: Last week, the Federal Reserve of San Francisco published an article written by Opportunity Fund’s Eric Weaver (CEO) and Gwendy Donaker-Brown (VP of Policy) about the alternative lending landscape, its pros and cons, and our best practices for responsible lending.