Taxes and MicroTracker

In this week’s Must Know:

  • It’s Tax Time
  • Micro Tracker Webinar
  • The Goodies: information on important opportunities like trainings, funding, scholarship programs. This week’s highlight is the AEO 2012 National Conference: The Power of Micro-Business is on April 30-May 2 in Washington, D.C. Register now. Learn about the CAMEO discount!

It’s Tax Time – Help Rep. Chu

Only 1% of low and moderate income entrepreneurs in California receive business advice and assistance from the micro sector infrastructure. We need reach more of America’s underserved business start-ups. CAMEO participated in a press conference yesterday with Congresswoman Judy Chu and PACE to highlight her bill HR 3571, the Entrepreneur Startup Growth Act. It would help low-income business owners file taxes and receive business training.

As many of you know, CAMEO was a partner in CFED’s Self-Employment Tax Initiative (SETI). The CA-SETI program ran for four years. Eight CAMEO members offered free, safe, legal Schedule C preparation at VITA sites. The results:

  • The number of clients served went from 78 in 2007 to 924 in 2010.
  • 60% of individuals who filed a Schedule C via the VITA site, accessed business services and learned how to use the Schedule C to control their finances.
  • 60% of Schedule C filers are new filers, which means this type of program is an effective way to formalize self-employment and broaden the tax base.
  • 31% of returning Schedule C clients increased their adjusted gross income.

“Once they’re in the door to formalize their business, they access resources, like business assistance, to grow their businesses,” said Claudia Viek, CEO of CAMEO. “This bill will ensure the SETI project scales up to happen all over the country.”

Help Rep. Chu get co-sponsors for her bill: find your legislator, then ask them to co-sponsor the bill. Download a sample letter.

On a related note – more evidence that Congress understands the importance of business assistance: Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, hosted a hearing last week in which she said:

I am very concerned about reducing the budget for our counseling and technical assistance programs and the negative impact such cuts could have on critical core services for America’s entrepreneurs. We must ensure that small businesses have the necessary tools and resources to keep their businesses thriving, while working to find reasonable avenues to reduce the budget.

It is a real victory that Senator Landrieu is talking about technical assistance. She’s listening to us. Read the full press release.

MicroTracker Webinar

It’s up to all of us to ensure that everyone knows about the good work we are doing so that we can keep on doing it and do it at a much larger scale. We’ve stressed the importance of measuring our impacts and we will stress it again. is a new website that helps you analyze your data, understand the U.S. microenterprise industry, see how you compare to other organizations, and improve your performance.

Join us for a free webinar exclusively for CAMEO members to learn how to adopt data analytic techniques long used by the private sector to improve performance.

On April 12th, you’ll learn how microTracker can help you:

  • explore the size and diversity of the field;
  • assess lending and training performance, evaluate the cost of microenterprise and
  • use benchmarking tools to understand the state of the industry and assess your program’s performance.

Register for this free webinar and learn about the microTracker subscription options available only to CAMEO members.

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 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!

Thoughtful Words: Ann Sullivan (our DC advocate) wrote a piece about the pervasiveness of gender bias in media and politics and how there is a direct link to the success of women business owners.

Blog Post: I blogged on the California Forward website – California’s Micro Businesses Are Job Making Machines. Check it out. Use my words.

For Your Clients: Google is helping small business with free websites.

Job Opportunities: Check out our jobs page as I’ve added a few in the last couple weeks, e.g. Working Solutions is looking for a loan officer.

Free Webinar: AEO hosts Community Reinvestment Act (CRA): What’s in it for you? on April 19, 2012, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PDT // 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT. Banks are encouraged to help meet the credit needs of the communities where they do business. Understanding how banks are evaluated and learning about the types of activities that qualify for consideration under the CRA can help your organization develop more effective partnerships with financial institutions. Register now to reserve your spot. I just did!

Micro National Conference: The AEO 2012 National Conference: The Power of Micro-Business is on April 30-May 2 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Register now. Learn about the CAMEO discount!

For Your Clients (in SoCal – LA, Orange, Ventura and Riverside Counties): Count Me In (a Friend of CAMEO) hosts Urban Rebound Los Angeles Conference and Competition on May 10 and 11, 2012 at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles. You can register (only $49) for the conference and/or send to your clients – it’s a great opportunity. Find out about the pre-conference pitch parties so your clients can practice pitching their business (say that five times fast.)

CAMEO’s Annual Meeting: in Sacramento, June 6-7, 2012. Book your hotel room at the discount rate until May 15, 2012. And don’t forget to Nominate your businesses for the Face of Entrepreneurship Awards by April 15, 2012.