2016 Federal Policy Achievements, Mid Year Report

Thanks to Jake Claybaugh at Madison Services Group for this recap of our achievements thus far this year.

Advocated for Rural Entrepreneurship

  • Developed a relationship with the Department of Agriculture, which included meeting with Under Secretary for Rural Development Lisa Mensah and Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Sam Rikkers
  • CAMEO successfully advocated for additional rural entrepreneurship funding. Appropriations requests were met or exceeded for rural business programs including:
    • Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG): $35 million ($5 million above request)
    • Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG): $15 million: ($4 million above request)
    • Intermediary Relending Program (IRP): $19 million (at CAMEO’s request level)

 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Implementation

  • Organized Members of Congress to urge the Department of Labor to include entrepreneurship metrics in the final rules implementing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  • The Department of Labor responded to CAMEO’s requests and noted that WIOA identifies more than just employment or credential based outcomes and that further clarification will be provided

Congressional Briefing on Online Lending in California

  • Held a Congressional briefing to educate the California Congressional delegation on the online lending landscape in California
  • Highlighted case studies in the state and called for Congress to increase data collection and educate business owners on responsible lending practices

SBA’s Microloan Program Modernization

  • Secured the introduction of new Microloan legislation that would remove the 25/75 and 3rd party contractor requirements – previous legislation did not remove this barrier
  • Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced S. 2850, which was passed by the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee in May 2016

 Women’s Business Center Program Re-Authorization

  • Led WBC re-authorization effort securing Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Small Business Committee Chair Steve Chabot’s (R-OH) to introduce legislation. Passed by the House and Senate Small Business Committees
  • Included the WBC reauthorization in the House version of the annual defense bill (NDAA)

FY17 Appropriations for Critical Entrepreneurship Programs

  • Saved the PRIME program at the $5 million funding level
  • $44 million for Microloan lending authority and $31 million for Technical Assistance — both 25% increases over FY16 and record funding levels
  • $19 million for the Women’s Business Center program — a $2 million increase over FY16 and a record high for the program
  • $250 million for the CDFI Fund, which is above CAMEO’s requested level
  • Successfully defeated the Duffy-Marino amendment that would have cut $20.7 million from the CDFI Fund.