New Address: Two Embarcadero Center, 8th floor, San Francisco, CA 94111     

SB 197 Goes to Governor Brown! Take Action

  • SB 197 on Governor’s Desk! Take Action Now!
  • AEO Conference – Final Countdown!
  • Be Counted – The microTracker Census closes Friday (September 11).
  • Save the Date: WOVEN – Women Veteran Entrepreneurs Network is on November 4 in Santa Ana.
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is OFN’s 2015 Western Regional Meeting is on September 17, 2015 at Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF/Fisher Banquet Room – West in San Francisco.

SB 197 on Governor’s Desk! Take Action Today!

We’re trying to contain our excitement! The California Senate passed SB 197 (Block) on Thursday, September 10 (co-sponsored by CAMEO and Opportunity Fund). That means the only step left is for Governor Brown to sign the bill into law. Before we can celebrate, we need you to do one more thing – tell Governor Brown to sign the bill by the end of Tuesday, September 15, 2015. It only takes a couple of minutes.

  1. Download the Brown Signature Letter Template.
  2. Put it on your letterhead.
  3. Personalize to your organization (and feel free to edit).
  4. Save as a pdf.
  5. Email it to me! And I will deliver letters to the governor.

Anyone can write a letter. Ask your staff, your board. The more, the better.

SB 197 is crucial to California small and microbusinesses, especially underbanked ones, as they may not be learning about and receiving the most appropriate financing available. The bill will remove a competitive disadvantage that currently affects licensed commercial lenders in California. The bill will allow them to pay referral fees to those from whom they receive business, subject to certain restrictions intended to promote responsible lending.

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

AEO Conference – Final Countdown!

Join CAMEO at AEO’s 2015 Microbusiness Learning Conference, September 24-25 in Atlanta, Georgia. You’re in for a treat with some great sessions (full agenda) that include:

  • Building a Testable Hypothesis for your Organization: Learn how to use experiments, not ideas, to take your work to a new level. Michael Schrage, author of The Innovator’s Hypothesis, will teach attendees how to use “experiments” to make their work more innovative and impactful.
  • Mapping the Pathway to Deeper Impact: Donna Gambrell, former Director, U.S. Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund, and Visiting Scholar, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, will explore new opportunities to effectively collaborate with other stakeholders for deeper impact.

Register for the conference and make your hotel reservations!

We’re very pleased to sponsor CAMEO members to attend. To apply for the sponsorship, visit our individualized training page for application information. If you have questions contact Shufina English.

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!

Important Op-ed: Our friends Mark Whitlock, chair of the National Diversity Coalition, and Aubry Stone, president and CEO of the California Black Chamber of Commerce, wrote “Bank Data on Diversity Can Help Close Racial Wealth Gap” in American Banker. A letter will be sent to President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging them to achieve the results urged in the American Banker article through executive orders.

Google Hangout: The National Womens Business Council hosts Spreading the Wealth: Getting Venture Capital to Women Entrepreneurs on Friday, September 11, 2015 at 11:00am PT // 2:00pm ET online via Google Hangout. RSVP for the link to join the hangout.

For Your Clients: RSVP for the SMALL BUSINESS EXPO on September 17, 2015 at Fort Mason Festival Pavillion in San Francisco. Your clients can attend business-critical workshops, shop from vendors to help businesses grow and network with thousands of business owners as well as CAMEO members.

Industry Meeting: OFN’s 2015 Western Regional Meeting is on September 17, 2015 at Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF/Fisher Banquet Room – West, 1675 Owens Street, San Francisco, CA 94143 (note the venue change). This promises to be an engaging meeting where CDFI staff, Board members, partners, and others can network and learn more about what’s happening in the industry and in the region. Stay tuned for more information.

COIN Tax Credit Investments: The second 2015 COIN CDFI Tax Credit cycle is now open. There are still $9.3 million in COIN CDFI Tax Credits available to support $46.5 million of private investment into COIN Certified CDFIs. The COIN team is available to help answer your questions, so please feel free to reach out to them. The deadline to submit applications is Friday, October 2, 2015 by close of business. CAMEO Members 3CORE and Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) received COIN investment this year. See photo of Marc Nemanic (3CORE), Stacie Olivares-Castain, Managing Director for COIN, and Devon Johnson (WEV).

2015 OFN Conference: Register for the conference, November 9-12, 2015 in Detroit. This year’s curriculum offers sessions across 14 tracks reflecting the breadth of the CDFI industry’s financing sectors and issues, including small business. Early bird registration ends September 30.

Take Action: The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights outlines six key rights that all borrowers should have. If you’re a small business lender, credit marketplace, or broker, you can sign the bill of rights. If you are another interested party, you can become an endorser. CAMEO has signed on as an endorser.

Take Action: The Senate is considering legislation passed by the Senate Small Business Committee that would change the SBA Microloan program. While some of the changes are beneficial to intermediaries, counselors, and entrepreneurs, the bill fails to include critical reforms that program participants have requested. For example, the current legislation would allow a waiver from the 25/75 Technical Assistance (TA) requirement to be issued by SBA. This is unnecessary paperwork and the requirement should be removed all together. Providing business assistance that supports entrepreneurs should be at the lenders discretion. AEO and CAMEO believe that microloan reform legislation without important changes will not best benefit the program and its users. We urge you to add your organization in support of this letter to tell the Senate to include these reforms in their legislation. If you are willing to sign on, please email our Government Relations team member John Stanford.

New Report: Read FIELD’s new report Microbusinesses, Gainful Jobs. They found that workers value the flexibility, fulfillment, and skill-building opportunities offered by their microbusiness jobs and 63% of respondents made wages at or above President Obama’s proposed increase to the minimum wage. They also found out that there’s a 1-5 cost-benefit ratio for micro business development (for every $1 of grant money spent on micro business development, $5 is created in economic activity) and microbusinesses create opportunity for those that struggle the most.