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Your Clients Must Know THIS; Amazon and Empty Storefronts

Must Know for Your Clients

Bank lending under $250,000 has dwindled and online merchant cash advances have taken its place. Many times these online ‘loans’ will tank a business. This is an issue that your clients need to know about, whether you are a lender or business assistance provider. It’s up to us to make sure they are well informed.

We held a webinar to 1) help members organize meetings with their district legislative staff and 2) become more grounded in responsible lending issues. CAMEO is launching an educational campaign to inform California’s small business leaders and elected officials on what good capital looks like. We’re asking all of our members to hold district meetings with their California state representatives during the March 18-25 break. We’ll follow up with meetings in Sacramento at our annual meeting. Legislators welcome visits from constituents. They are a highly effective way of helping legislators understand our issues. And this is an issue they need to know about!

Let us know when you’ve scheduled your meeting and how it went!

Amazon and Empty Storefronts

As Internet sales have risen unabated in recent years, little attention has been paid to the effects of that growth on American communities. A new report by Civic Economics, Amazon and Empty Storefronts, looks at two broad classes of impact: Fiscal (relating to public revenue) and Land Use (relating to development patterns at the local level).

In the Shop Local movement, we have long touted statistics showing the economic (and other) benefits of shopping at a locally owned business versus a chain. Finally, we have hard numbers to compare shopping locally to shopping at Amazon. Some of the findings include:

  • In 2014, Amazon sold $44.1 billion in retail goods nationwide, all while avoiding $625 million in state and local sales taxes. California had $5.7 billion of those sales and lost $30.5 million in taxes.
  • That’s the equivalent of 30,000 retail storefronts, 107 million square feet of commercial space, which might have paid $420 million in property taxes. For California that adds to 4,010 retail storefronts, 13.9 million square feet of commercial space, and a loss of $30.5 million in property taxes.
  • That’s over $1 billion in revenue lost to state and local governments, $8.48 for every household in America
  • Amazon’s 65 million square feet of distribution space employs roughly 30,000 full-time workers and 104,000 part-time and seasonal workers
  • Even counting all Amazon distribution jobs, Amazon sales produced a net loss of 135,973 retail jobs nationwide and net loss of 21,251 retail jobs in California.

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!

CAMEO in the News: Read Claudia’s post Invest in Women Business Ownership for a Robust Economy on the ASBC website or in Huffington Post.

Member in the News: Cutting Edge’s John Katovich has his first piece in Huffington Post that argues it is far more valuable to “invest in who you know” than “invest in what you know” as a means to encourage local investment.

Member Kudos: Congrats to Fresno CDFI and Mission Community Services Corporation. They received PG&E Economic Vitality Grants!

Webinar Resources: Access CFED’s Building Better Business Financial Capability Solutions webinar and/or download the slides. Download the Finding Common Threads brief to learn about the set of themes that define business owners; desires, values and behaviors discussed on the webinar.

Non-Profit Technology Conference: If you’re interested in learning about how you and your organization can stay on top of technology trends – not to mention learn best practices, and get the support you need to use technology in a way that will truly fulfill your mission – then have a staff member or two attend the 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference (16NTC). This year it’s in San Jose, California from March 23 – 25. Over 2,000 non-profit professionals will gather to share ideas, tactics, and strategies on using tech – in your communications efforts, as well as your programming. I’ll be going. If you have any questions about the conference, reach out to the organizers at NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network. Don’t forget that we offer professional development assistance. Early bird ends February 29.

CDFI Fund Applications: The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) opened the fiscal year (FY) 2016 funding round for the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program). Congress appropriated $153 million for CDFI Program awards; $22 million for Healthy Food Financing Initiative Financial Assistance (HFFI-FA) awards; and $15.5 million for NACA Program awards. Applications must be submitted by April 18, 2016.

AEO National Conference: Save the date May 18-20, 2016 in Washington, DC to celebrate 25 years! EconoCon25 gathers actors in the small business space who impact America’s smallest businesses and underserved entrepreneurs — lenders, nonprofit and for-profit service providers, advocates and policy makers, entrepreneurs, funders and investors — for meaningful dialogue about how to innovate faster, partner smarter, and execute better. Early-bird registration rates are good for the month of February!

CBA Symposium Awards: Submit an entry to win $500 for your organization plus one complementary registration fee to CBA’s Credit Building Symposium on July 14th! The awards are a one-page submission on Most Innovative Credit Building Product and Most Successful Credit Building Initiative. Email CBA for more information.

For Your Clients: The U.S. Small Business Administration has launched the registration for its 2016 Emerging Leaders executive-level training series for Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties. This is the fourth year the program has been held in Southern California and the second consecutive year that there will be two cohorts, one of only three SBA districts to do so. Sacramento area business owners may also participate. Rich Mostert of Valley Small Business Development Corporation will be teaching the class in Bakersfield.

WE Decide 2016: CAMEO has joined Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) for their campaign – WE Decide 2016 – to engage women in business in the 2016 election. WE Decide 2016 is a nonpartisan, no cost collaboration with a focus on education and engagement. Leveraging insight, secure poll data and participant feedback, WE Decide 2016 will publish a Women in Business Priorities report prior to the national conventions to encourage political parties and their candidates to prioritize and discuss issues of significance to women entrepreneurs. Please take a moment to sign up your organization to become a WE Decide 2016 Supporter.