SBA: Good and Bad News

Save June 17, 2014 for our 20th Anniversary celebration in Sacramento!

SBA: Good and Bad News

First the good news: Maria Contreras-Sweet is one step closer to becoming the head of the SBA. On Wednesday, a bi-partisan vote in the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee sends Maria Contreras-Sweet to her final step – a full Senate vote for final confirmation, tbd. Of course we weighed in:

During her testimony, Contreras-Sweet made it clear that as a small business owner, she understands the needs of small business. Her understanding won her bipartisan praise. But for our organization, the most important part of her testimony was when she demonstrated her understanding and of the importance of microloans to building wealth in communities. She said that CDFIs and programs like CAMEO have been good stewards of making sure that underserved communities have access to a first line of credit.

Join the US Hispanic Chamber and Small Business Majority in their effort to ensure Maria Contreras-Sweet receives a quick confirmation as head of the SBA.

And now the bad: President Obama’s FY2015 budget recommendations include a steep cut to the SBA budget. Take a look at this Washington Post infographic of the presidential budget that demonstrates the size and importance of different agencies to the White House as measured by its budget requests. You’ll notice SBA in the bottom left corner. AEO summarizes the presidential budget. It eliminates PRIME and has a 24% cut for the Small Business Administration in FY2015- down from the the FY2014 enacted funding level of $929 million. Other programs fared better with the CDFI Fund and Workforce Innovation Fund remaining intact.

President Obama’s requested budget is the first of many steps in the budget process. In 2014, the President asked for $810 million for the SBA; Congress allocated $929 million. CAMEO will work to ensure that the programs our sector cares about are funded.

Funding Circle Webinar

Register for Funding Circle: Filling the Gap between Micro-loans and the SBA, a webinar on March 19, 2014 at 11:00am PT.

Funding Circle, based in San Francisco and New York, was founded by two small business owners – Sam Hodges and Alex Tonelli – who, while launching a chain of fitness centers, could not find funding after being turned down by 90 different lenders.

Funding Circle offers flexible loans up to $500,000, that carry rates as low as 9.99%, with terms of 3 to 5 years. The loans have monthly principal and interest payments, no hidden fees (only a 2.99% Origination Fee), and no prepayment penalties. Funding Circle takes pride in being honest and transparent. Finally, its application process is easy, intuitive, and technology-driven so that decisions can be made quickly and small business owners can focus on doing what they do best – operating.

In this webinar, the Funding Circle team will provide a general introduction to their product, process, and vision. They will also specifically address how to become a Referral Partner, what their Referral Partner Program entails, and other partnership opportunities.

Member Kudos

All of your great work hot off the presses…

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!

AEO Conference: Registration is open for AEO’s Big Easy Takeover! Connect with hundreds of industry professionals who are committed to giving Main Street microbusinesses the resources they need! Help America’s 25.5 million microbusinesses unleash their power. The conference is May 5-7, 2014. An additional enticement is the New Orleans Jazz Fest happening right before the conference. The hotel will extend the discounted room rate if you come early…let’s show AEO that CAMEO members know how to party! CAMEO members are eligible for a $50 discount off the AEO nonmember rate and can access it by entering the code SMA2014 at registration. You can register now for AEO’s Mardi Gras rate through Thursday, March 6 at 11:59pm EST. (Yes, the registration date was extended.) And don’t forget to ask us about our professional development member benefit. And hot off the presses – the conference agenda and track descriptions were released this morning.

Impact Report: Women’s Initiative surveyed 753 clients and how they impacted the local economy through increased sales, income, jobs, and sales tax. They found that even through the Great Recession, “their clients multiplied their annual gross revenue more than thirteenfold within the first 18 months after training.”
Download the report: Investing Locally: The Economic Impact of Microenterprise on the Community.

For your Clients: It’s time for our friends at Small Business California to survey California businesses. Please forward the 2014 SBC Survey to your clients. It will take about 10 minutes or less. The results of the survey will be sent to every Assembly person, State Senator, and Representative in the state, the Governor, and our two Senators. The deadline is March 7, 2014.

Media Training: The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) is hosting a four-part Media Training Series (March 12, 20, 26, and April 2). Topics to be covered: training for business policy, broadcast meeting, writing op-eds, and social media. ASBC has two offers for CAMEO members: 1) a 50% discounted pricing of $75 for the entire series and 2) three free spots to the the first three people who email me and want the spots (by doing so, you’re committed to attending). Click the link above for more info on the series. And email me for the discount codes.

Healthcare Webinars: The Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority are committed to helping businesses navigate the changes and opportunities in health care through the webinar series What the Healthcare Law Means for your California Small Business. The next one is on March 12, 2014 at 10:00am PT. Lo Que Significa La Ley de Salud para su Pequeña Empresa in Spanish is on March 19, 2014 at 10:00am PT. 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.

For Your Clients: CAMEO is co-sponsoring a Certification Course for Veterans and Service Disabled Veterans. It’s a two week class offered by CAMEO member Joe Molina. Participants who follow the daily action items in this course will be able to complete the initial submission of information required for receiving a VBE or DVBE Certification. It starts on the first Monday of each month. The next one starts on April 7, 2014. Your clients can use the CAMEO discount code “CAMEO12014” to receive a $120 discount off the $199 tuition fee (so it costs $79.)

MicroFinance Conference: The 6th Annual San Diego Microfinance Summit – Expanding Horizons of Microfinance is on April 8, 2014 from 9:00am-5:00pm at the University of San Diego – Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice. Register for the 2014 San Diego Microfinance Summit.

Industry Conference: What do you get when you mix 500 savvy social enterprisers, 3.5 days of top notch programming, the building momentum of a national movement, and the nation’s “it” city? Find out at Social Enterprise Alliance’s Summit 14 in Nashville on April 13-16, 2014. Build the social enterprise field, connect and strengthen skills. CAMEO’s network receives a 33% off discount with discount code CAMEO33. For more information click on the link above.

For Your Clients: Tax prep season is in full swing. The IRS has a number of instructional YouTube videos to help prepare your taxes.