State Small Business Policy Ramps Up
Most of our policy focus in the past year has been on national issues, but now, quite a lot is going on at the state level. This week’s newsletter will concentrate on what you can do at the state level to further our sector. Extending the EITC to the self-employed CAMEO is strongly supporting Assembly Bill 75 (Steinorth, Quick-Silva) would expand California’s Earned Income Tax Credit to allow self-employment income reported on an IRS Form 1099 to qualify as earned income. With a growing number of self-employed as compared to wage employees (see graph where 1099’s represented by the orange line, W2’s the green), expanding CalEITC to include individuals who are self-employed allows low-income households near the poverty line to have more money in their pocket for essential purchases. Please send a AB 75 Support Letter (click to download a template letter) to Brandon.Ebeck@asm.ca.gov and Toni.Symonds@asm.ca.gov with a cc to me. CAMEO will be testifying in support of this bill on Monday, March 27. CalCAP CAMEO supports SB 551 (Hueso) – Capital Access Loan Program for Small Business, sponsored by Opportunity Fund, that makes several changes to the CalCAP Program. These changes are meant to increase transparency in the program and ensure that lenders will have access to funds even if the program runs out of funding. The main tenets of the bill are a lower required match rate, flexibility, and transparency. Read more on our blog post by clicking the previous link and/or download SB 551 (Hueso) Capital Access Loan Program for Small Business Fact Sheet. CalCAP is a key credit enhancement for CDFI lending. Please submit a letter of support by Monday, March 27, 2017.
- Download SB 551(Hueso) Draft Letter of Support Template.
- Email PDF letter of support to Senator Hueso’s staffer Aaron Brieno, and CC Gabriel Villareal and Paul Donahue.
CAMEO will be testifying in support of this bill on Wednesday, April 5. COIN CAMEO supports AB 778 (Caballero). The bill proposes an extension of the COIN tax credit program until January 1, 2022. Download the AB 778 COIN Fact Sheet to learn more. Then send a letter of support to Reggie Fair of Assembly member Caballero’s office and cc me. California CDFIs will need COIN investments more than ever, given threatened elimination of the CDFI Fund (see below). A hearing date hasn’t been sent, but as long as you’re doing letters of support – go for it and send this one in too.
The President’s FY2018 Budget
The President released his spending wishlist for FY18 today. Unlike previous budget submissions, the plan is not detailed in its requests, but outlines broad spending priorities and mentions some programs the President would like to eliminate. With respect to small business programs, the SBA would achieve its 5% cut from the FY17 CR level by eliminating the PRIME program, Regional Clusters and Growth Accelerators (page 45 of document linked to above). Although not mentioned directly, SBA’s resource partners continue to be under scrutiny with respect to offering duplicative services. The President mentions lending programs and federal contracting support as important SBA functions (page 45). The President proposes to eliminate the CDFI fund (page 37) and the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. Also proposed is elimination of the Minority Business Development Agency, citing duplicative efforts by SBA’s district offices and SBDCs. With respect to the Department of Agriculture, the Rural Business and Cooperative Service (page 12) is on the chopping block. In addition, HUD’s CDBG funding is zeroed out, a big hit for a lot of our members, both urban and rural. Next step is Congressional action. The Congress decides the annual appropriations and budget. The President submits—the Congress funds. CAMEO and our partners have our work cut out for us to defend our programs, but we have many friends in DC who champion our programs. It will be all hands on deck, though. We will need your help to speak with your representatives, write letters, tell stories, and make our collective voice heard. If your representative sits on the Appropriations Committee – Ken Calvert, David Valadao, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Barbara Lee, and Pete Aguilar – please contact them and request a constituent funding request form. Meetings with your district office legislative staff is an effective way to protest these cuts.
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! For Your Clients: If you work with immigrant clients, CalNonprofits has an informative blog post – “Nonprofits & the Trump Administration: Practical tools for protecting our immigrant clients and staff.” Also, check out “Economic Impact of Immigration by State.” California ranks highest in jobs created by immigrant owned business. For Your Clients: The U.S. SBA announced the launch of the 2017 Emerging Leaders Initiative, a seven-month executive-level training series targeting small businesses with high-growth potential in under-served cities across the nation. Participating cities in California are Bakersfield, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. If you have clients that have annual revenues of at least $400,000, have been in business for at least 3 years, and have at least one employee, other than self, check out the program. Communications Resource: Wired has a great post – “10 Online Press Room Examples for Nonprofits.” For Your Clients: CAMEO is partnering with Women Impacting Public Policy and the Kogod Tax Policy Center at American University to research how women entrepreneurs use the U.S. tax code and how it impacts your business in order to determine whether it discriminates against women-owned firms. Please take this survey and send it to your female clients. It will take less than five minutes and your answers could help us make a big difference for all women in business. The survey is free, your answers are anonymous, and you will not be asked for a donation. Member Kudos: Congrats to Steven Dial, the new CEO of AnewAmerica, and Lisa Mensah, the new OFN President and Chief Executive Officer. Workforce and Micro: The California Workforce Association and California Workforce Development Board have joined forces with the California Community Colleges to facilitate a series of 17 conversations called – Partnerships that Unlock Social Mobility. The remaining ones are in March and April in Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz/Monterey, Riverside, San Diego, Richmond, Santa Clara, Redding, Eureka and Napa. We urge you to attend and make the voice of entrepreneurship heard. Our goal is for local WIBs to partner with CAMEO members to provide training. Please let us know if you are able to make it and what you’ve learned. Free Webinar: Join ASBC for a webinar – Regulations Do Work for Business! on March 21, 2017 11:00am-12:00noon PT // 2:00-3:00pm ET. Networking/Professional Development Event: Our colleagues from ASBC are hosting “How Re-Imagining Capitalism Can Inspire Both Personal and Large Scale Positive Change” on Wednesday, March 22, 2017from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at Hanson Bridgett, 425 Market Street, 26th Floor, San Francisco, California. Rural Development Webinars: Tune in to a free webinar from IEDC – Maximizing the use of Federal and State Tools for Economic Development on March 23, 2017, 7:00-8:30am PT // 10:00-11:30am ET. For Your Clients: The next California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) application period is open with more than $68 million in available tax credits. Businesses interested in applying can register to view a live webinar explaining the application process. This program is open to any business planning to create new full-time jobs in the state, regardless of size or location. The deadline to submit applications is Monday, March 27, 2017, at 11:59pm PT (Pacific Time). New Report: OFN released “Expanding Employer-Based Small Dollar Loan Programs and the CDFI Industry: Learnings from the Knowledge Network.” A webinar discussing the report is on April 11, 2017 at 11:00am-12:30pm PDT. Advocacy Day: This year, OFN’s Advocacy Day will take place on May 16–17, 2017. During Advocacy Day, your voice is needed to make the case to members of Congress and Administration officials about the importance of funding for the CDFI Fund, the industry, and our communities. Funding Opportunity: OFN announced their NEXT Fund for Innovation, a pilot that will provide flexible capital in amounts ranging from $500,000 to $2 million to CDFIs with innovative ideas. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis now through June 30, 2017. The fund is open to all qualifying CDFIs, including non-OFN Members and past NEXT Awards recipients. New Report: The National Women’s Business Council released Social Entrepreneurship Amongst Women and Men in the United States.]]>