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2015 Annual Member Meeting Prep

For the member meeting we ask that you do two things: 1) make appointments with your legislators for the morning; and 2) read AEO’s white paper on Understanding the State of Technical Assistance for the afternoon discussion.

Meetings with Legislators

In the morning, after a short member meeting, we will give you tips, training and talking points for our key advocacy issues this year. Then, you will be off to visit your legislators between 10:45 and 12:15. Please make your own appointments; here’s how:

  • Find contact information for your assembly member(s) and your senator.
  • Send a written request to the scheduler as well as call the office.
  • If the legislator is not available, ask for a meeting with the chief of staff.

If you are from an area that only has one representative in each house, coordinate with other CAMEO members who may be attending. If you are from a large area that has many representatives, we will divide and conquer. Contact Andrew, who will help coordinate with other members who will be going.

The topics of your legislative visits include the importance of the microbusiness sector to local economies and three crucial issues – depending with whom you meet:

  • SB 197 (Block), co-sponsored by CAMEO and Opportunity Fund, will help small businesses be more aware of capital resources offered by mission-driven microlenders. This bill has passed through Senate appropriations and is likely to pass the Senate floor, which means the Assembly is the next stop. It will be crucial to educate your assembly members on the merits of this bill. You will thank your Senators for their support.
  • AB 184 (Garcia) will codify business technical assistance (SBDCs, WBC, SCORE, VBOC and PTAC) and allow state agencies to directly contract with them and fund them. Right now it is in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
  • We are looking for a champion for the importance of women’s business ownership in closing the wealth gap.

For more information and a full agenda for the day, visit the annual meeting page on our website.

Re-imagine TA Business Assistance Services

At the recent AEO Leadership Summit, a big topic of conversation was the possibilities and future of the microbusiness industry. We’re going to engage in an interactive exercise to ponder these questions.

  • In what ways does business assistance need to change for the industry?
  • In what ways does it need to change to support the entrepreneurs of the future?
  • What obstacles must the industry overcome to redesign business assistance delivery to support the future Main Street?

Read AEO’s white paper on Understanding the State of Technical Assistance for background.