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

State Policy Update; Lending Technology, WOVEN Update

  • State Policy Update
  • Introducing: Spark Lending Platform
  • WOVEN Continues Community in the Inland Empire
  • Please fill out the microTracker census by September 30. Email Andrew if you need help filling out the Census.
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is a big congratulations to CAMEO and the five members who received a almost $750,000 in PRIME Grants.

State Policy Update

This past June, the SBDC program completed Year 2 of an Access to Capital program funded by the Governor’s Office of Economic and Business Development (GO-Biz). For the year July 2015 through June 2016 the SBDC’s received $2 million from GO-Biz that was leveraged to secure over $208 million in capital for the businesses they serve. For July 2016 to 2017, the state cut the funding by 25% to $1.5 million. The FY 2017 budget is uncertain.

Other states put a lot more resources towards small and micro business development; and in the case of the SBDC’s, this leverages their federal funds. CAMEO and Small Business California are urging members to email Panorea Avdis, the director of Go-Biz,on the importance of this program to our communities. Where else can the State obtain a 100-1 ROI?!

Also, Governor Brown vetoed AB 2728, which would have extended the COIN CDFI tax credit that allowed insurance companies and banks to invest in affordable housing and LMI small business lending. The Insurance Trade Association opposed the bill because it was supported by State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, who has called for more data and transparency from insurers. That’s too bad because “for the last twenty years, COIN has played an important role in facilitating safe, low-risk investments that significantly benefit California’s underserved communities.” CAMEO will work with California Reinvestment Coalition to create a strategy to restore COIN.

We are scratching our heads. Why is Governor Brown eliminating programs that have clearly provided needed capital access and thus stimulated business and job creation in those regions that need it most?

Introducing: Spark Lending Platform

Would you like to improve your lending process efficiency, save money, increase volume and underwrite deals yourself? Is developing your own online lending platform beyond the scope and budget of your organization? Then attend the October 5 webinar at 2:00pm to learn more about Spark, a cloud-based lending platform developed by Community Reinvestment Fund for small business lenders. Spark features include:

  • Pre-screen through disbursement capacity
  • Your organization’s branding
  • Cloud-based and hosted so that both lenders and borrowers can access Spark 24/7
  • Client-facing, web-based application and document interface
  • All SBA rules, procedures and requirements programmed in
  • Customizable microloan capacity
  • Portfolio reporting
  • Underwriting summaries
  • Disbursement management
  • And more!

CAMEO has worked with seven members on the MMS platform, which includes underwriting support. Spark has a different palette of features, and is an exciting platform for organizations that want to use technology to increase sufficiency and volume, but keep underwriting in-house.

Please join us on October 5, with Nick Elders. If there is enough interest among members, CAMEO will explore opportunities for an aggregated approach to Spark to reduce the cost to our members, as we have done with MMS.

WOVEN Continues Community in the Inland Empire

Last Month, 20 military women from the Inland Empire attended the Think Like a Negotiator two-day training hosted by the Inland Empire Women’s Business Center (IEWBC). The group consisted of Army, Air Force and Navy veterans and military spouses. The program is part of the Women Veteran Entrepreneurs Network (WOVEN)‘s effort to bring entrepreneurial training resources to the communities where women veterans live and would start a business.

In a Think Like a Negotiator training Eldonna Lewis Fernandez educates participants to be a better negotiator and understand the art and language of negotiation. Negotiation is simply the technical term for discussions and conversations to reach an agreement. Improving your negotiation skills will give you more confidence and better results. Eldonna shows how to find more power, negotiate better deals and create win-win results.

In our latest blog post – “WOVEN Continues Community in Inland Empire” – Nicole Kinney of the IEWBC shares what the class learned.

Eldonna also recently received the Accredited Speaker (AS) designation through Toastmasters International. This is a very competitive professional speaking designation with only 69 total AS and only 15 women! Congrats! With the designation, Eldonna now offers speaker training.

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 CAMEO and the five members who received a almost $750,000 in SBA PRIME Grants – AnewAmerica ($150,000), CAMEO ($147,000), Grameen America in CA ($100,000), Main Street Launch ($85,885), Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment ($150,000), and Pacific Coast Regional Corporation ($100,000). California received the most grants of any state. CAMEO has fought hard over the years to save and increase PRIME within the SBA.

In the News: Connie Evans, president and CEO of AEO, makes the case that “Supporting Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Must be a National Priority.”

CalCAP ADA Financing Program: The California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA) opened the new CalCAP Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Financing Program. This program will assist businesses with 15 or fewer full-time equivalent employees to finance retrofits to their facilities (<10,000 square feet) to comply with the ADA. Lenders can submit an amended Financial Institution Application to participate. The small business community needs your assistance in avoiding high frequency litigation and making California businesses accessible. CPCFA has already received news of businesses seeking qualifying loans, and staff will provide a referral to the first lender to sign up to participate.

Programming Resource: Resources are now online for the webinar Prison to Proprietor: Entrepreneurship as a Re-entry Strategy presented by Asset Funders Network.

For Your Clients: The Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI) is a collaboration between the Stanford University Graduate School of Business & the Latino Business Action Network (a nonprofit organization). SLEI invites you to participate in a short (5-7 minute) survey on your clients’ business practices. Responses will be kept confidential and used for academic research purposes only. Learn more.

For Your Clients: Small Business Majority is hosting Access to Capital 101: Funding Options to Start and Grow Your Business every other Wednesday, the next one s October 5. They present an overview of alternative lending options including community development financial institutions, SBA’s loan guarantee program and reputable online options, key questions to consider when seeking funding, the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights and helpful tools and resources.

Inland Empire 2035 Economic Forecast Conference: Join UCR School of Business Administration on September 29, 2016, 8:00-11:30am Riverside, CA at Riverside Convention Center, 3637 5th St, Riverside, CA 92501. Use discount code cameo16 for a $25 discount. Register for the conference.

OFN Conference: Registration is now open for Opportunity Finance Network’s annual conference – Rethink. It takes place October 24-27, 2016 in Atlanta, GA.

Conference: Save the Date for the 6th Annual Asset Building SymposiumFostering Economic Equity in a Changing Bay Area on November 3, 2016.

For Your Clients: AEO is partnering with the Federal Reserve System to survey existing and pre-start stage small business owners/managers. This survey is designed to better understand the credit landscape for small business and the experience of small business owners. As in prior years, the Federal Reserve System will release a national report of the survey findings. This year, they will also share custom data reports. They are seeking your help in distributing an important national survey of small business credit to your applicants and clients. The survey will be open now through November 23.

New Report: Opportunity Fund released a very important research report, Unaffordable and Unsustainable: The New Business Lending on Main Street.” Until now, we have been relying on stories to explain what’s happening with online lending. Now we’ve got some data on the loans and cash advances being offered to small businesses by short-term, high-cost alternative lenders. Cliff notes on findings: 94% interest rates; average payment is 1.78x income -YIKES.

Free Fundraising Tool: Take the Leaky Bucket Assessment for Effective Fundraising. By taking this Assessment, a nonprofit will have a better understanding of their fundraising resources and see where they stand in relation to other nonprofits.