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Sac Win; Annual Meeting Hotel Rooms; SmallBiz Month

SB 197 – Referral Fees

On Wednesday, Opportunity Fund and CAMEO testified in favor of SB 197 (Block). The bill will allow CAMEO’s microlenders to pay referral fees to consultants, non-profits (e.g. TA providers), and others who refer successful loans. The bill received unanimous support from the committee and passed with a 7-0 vote and will now go to Appropriations. (That’s Gwendy Donaker-Brown, Vice President of Research and Policy for Opportunity Fund and myself in front of the California Capitol building.)

Yes, we still need letters of support. It only takes a couple of minutes.

  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!

For more information check out the Must Know that featured it.

So DC doesn’t feel left out: The Senate Small Business Committee passed eight bills that included an increased funding for SBA loan programs and SCORE, and modernization of the SBDC program. The next destination for these bills is the Senate Floor, but it’s unclear if and when that may happen.

CAMEO’s Annual Meeting

Join us at our Annual Member Meeting in Sacramento to learn about business pollinators!

June 9, 2015
8:30 am – 6:00 pm
Sterling Hotel
1300 H Street, Sacramento

And book your hotel! CAMEO has reserved a block of rooms available for attendees on June 8 (Single and Double rate: $183-191, tax not included in this price). Please make your arrangements early (the block room rate deadline is May 8), but may sell out as space is limited. Call the Sterling at 1-916-448-1300 to make reservations and be sure to mention “CAM15” to receive the reduced rate or book online.

For other lodging options visit the annual meeting page on our website.

May is National Small Business Month

National Small Business Week (next week)

Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration, writes in a guestblog post, “Dream Big,”

Our country was founded by risk-taking pioneers in search of new horizons. More than two centuries later, what sets America apart in the world is the willingness of our entrepreneurs to take risks. Small businesses allow Americans to be their own boss and improve their lot in life through hard work – a core American value.

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. To celebrate, the SBA is offering five FREE webinars on a variety of business topics.

National Small Business Month

California’s GO-Biz Office of Small Business Advocate (OSBA) is celebrating with their own series of free webinars to educate small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs on important requirements and available resources. Space is limited and registration is required.

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 VEDC who is an SBA top-10 microlender in the country; and three CAMEO members made the top 10 SBA Community Advantage lenders – VEDC, CDC Small Business Finance, and OBDC.

Support a CAMEO Member: CNBC’s reality show, The Profit, which offers struggling small businesses around the United States capital and expertise, has selected Accion to be the beneficiary of their very first #ShareTheProfit campaign. This means that every time anyone shares content ( or ), from the campaign, CNBC will donate $1 to Accion’s work in the United States, up to $100,000.

Industry Conference: The 13th annual BALLE Conference is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and inspiring yet. The leading lights of the local economy movement will gather June 10-12, 2015 in Phoenix to inspire, learn, and connect around What’s Working — tangible solutions that are paving the path to real prosperity for all people. CAMEO followers will receive 10% off current price when they use the discount code BETTERTOGETHER when registering for the BALLE Conference. The $100 early bird discount expires May 1, so if you can promote this special offer to your network soon, they’ll receive additional savings.

For Your Clients: Our colleagues at Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) have opened its annual survey of women business owners, to gain insight and information, assess the importance of economic issues, and evaluate policy issues. The information provides WIPP, policymakers, the media and other key stakeholders with viewpoints on issues such as the economy, access to capital, government contracting, and more. The survey informs WIPP’s efforts to create an economic and regulatory climate that helps women successfully start, manage, and grow their businesses. Please forward WIPP’s 2015 National Survey to your clients. This survey will take approximately 20 minutes of your time and all responses are anonymous. The survey will be open until May 6, 2015.

Funding Opportunity: The USDA has opened two funding opportunities: Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG), formerly known as RBEG and RBOG, and Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG). RBDG is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products. Deadlines are June 19, 2015.

Conference Scholarship: Credit Builders Alliance hosts the 2015 CBA Credit Building Symposium on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 – Thursday, July 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. They have 10 scholarships ($250 per organization) for interested groups on a first-come, first-served basis to help defray some of the costs related to the registration fee, travel, and lodging. Email them ASAP if you are interested in the scholarship.