SBA Nominee Gives Us A Shout Out!

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

  • SBA Nominee Gives Us A Shout Out!
  • SmallBiz, a New Microlender – CAMEO Webinar
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is the 2014 Small Business California Survey. Please forward to your clients asap.

SBA Nominee Gives a Shout Out to CAMEO!

Yesterday was the Senate confirmation hearing for Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder and board chairman of ProAmerica Bank in Los Angeles, and President Obama’s nominee to head the SBA.

During her testimony, Contreras-Sweet made it clear that as a small business owner, she understands the needs of small business — from the importance of microloans to the unbundling of government contracts — and that there might be gaps in the SBA. Her understanding won her bipartisan praise. But for us, the best part of the testimony came (about 1:26 in the video) when she said that she “is very much in support of microloan programs” and “through the CDFIs, through programs like CAMEO… have been really good stewards of making sure that particularly underserved communities… that they’re [CAMEO, et al] providing for that first line of credit.

You can watch the entire Senate Small Business Committee hearing (you’ll need to jump ahead to 27 minutes into the video) or read AEO’s blog on Sweet’s hearing.

The committee didn’t have quorum to take a vote, so we need to urge our senators to hurry up! Join the US Hispanic Chamber and Small Business Majority in their effort to ensure she receives a quick confirmation as head of the SBA.

In local SBA news… Last week, the SBA announced our new district director – Donna Davis. She has over 30 years of experience in working with small businesses, corporations, and governments. Most recently she was the President and CEO of a consulting firm and the CEO of the Arizona Small Business Associatio. Her official title is Regional Administrator for Region IX (Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, and Nevada.)

SmartBiz, a New Microlender – CAMEO Webinar

Join CAMEO for a member-only webinar to learn about SmartBiz loans – the first fully-online, automated SBA loan program – on February 25, 2014 at 11:00am PT.

According to the company, they offer “8% interest rates, an easy application process, and an instant decision … Small businesses that need quick access to capital now have an easy way to apply for an SBA 7(a) SLA loan online in about 20 minutes, and receive $5,000 to $25,000 within 5 business days after the application is completed.”

SmartBiz is available in all 50 states, and is a partnership between financial services technology company BillFloat, Inc. and SBA preferred lender Golden Pacific Bank. They are partnering with CDFIs and other financial institutions to help businesses graduate to a small dollar bank loan product, and are providing capital to companies outside the typical geographic reach of these organizations typical geographic reach.

Download a flyer. Feel free to invite your clients.

The Goodies

New opportunities for trainings, 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!

For Your Clients: Small, nonfarm businesses in 35 California counties are eligible to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. SBA because of the drought.

New Report: CFED released Innovations in Microbusiness: Enhancing the Financial Security of Low-Income Entrepreneurs, which details what they learned from a year of partnership with Capital One and some of the microbusiness field’s most innovative organizations – and guess who is one of them! The report documents what they’re doing to help clients achieve financial security and explores strategies for these new approaches that could grow to scale.

New Report: CFED also released Enhancing Support for Lower-income Entrepreneurs through Major Public Systems. The report looks at the ways that policy systems support LMI entrepreneurs and identifies opportunities to expand and improve those services.

Free Webinar: BALLE hosts Measuring Local First: Annual ILSR Independent Business Survey Results on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 10:00am PT // 1:00pm ET. The ILSR surveys businesses across North America to gauge how independent businesses are faring, to assess the impact of local business alliances and Local First, and to identify some of the main challenges affecting independent businesses. The webinar will explain the results and how to use them to build Localism in your community. Click on the above link to register.

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 Affordable Care Act 101 webinar series. They take place every Thursday at 11:00 AM PT // 2:00 PM ET. The next one is February 20, 2014.

2014 Los Angeles Economic Forecast Conference: With remarks by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the inaugural event of Forecast LA brings together Southern California thought leaders to help answer the most pressing economic and quality of life questions facing Los Angeles County and its nearly 10 million residents. The deets: February 25, 2014 from 8:00am-12:15pm at Loyola Marymount University. CAMEO members receive a $25 discount off their registration with the promotional code “cameo14”. Learn more about Forecast LA and register.

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 February 28, 2014.

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 March 3, 2014. Your clients can use the CAMEO discount code “CAMEO12014” to receive a $120 discount off the $199 tuition fee (so it costs $79.)

Grant Opportunity: The SBA announced a $3 million grant opportunity to provide entrepreneurship training to veterans under the SBA’s Boots to Business program. Public and private institutions are invited to submit proposals to provide entrepreneurship training, curriculum development and program management support services. The deadline is March 3, 2014.

2014 CDFI Coalition Institute: The CDFI Coalition Institute also turns 20 this year. Attend this conference on March 5-6, 2014 at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, DC. Register asap to take advantage of the limited room block at the Hotel Monaco for a cost of $339 (2 nights, March 4th and 5th).

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.

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.

For Your Clients: The Sabor Latino Food Show is being held at the Pasadena Convention Center on May 13 and 14, 2014. It is “EL SHOW QUE VALE LA PENA!”. This is where business in the Latin Food community is conducted. They showcase products from all over the world and invite buyers from all over California.