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Past Legislative Action and Successes

A list of CAMEO’s legislative actions and successes throughout the years.


SB 33 – Commercial Financing Disclosures

This new law removes the sunset for SB 1235, California’s truth-in-small-business-lending law. The bill makes permanent the requirement for providers to include in the disclosures the total cost of financing expressed as an annualized rate. CAMEO sponsored this bill as part of the Responsible Small Business Lending Coalition (RBLC). 

SB 666 – Small Business Commercial Financing Transactions

This new law prohibits small business financing companies from charging specified fees in connection with a financing transaction with a small business. CAMEO partnered with the Consumer Federation of California to sponsor this bill. 


Two Bills that Advance Micro Entrepreneurship

AB 626 will allow the sale of meals prepared in home kitchens. For time eternal, one way many families earned extra money was by cooking and selling meals from their home kitchen. Enter a more complicated economy and this became problematic mainly because of health concerns. According to the COOK Alliance, under this bill, “microenterprise home kitchens will be allowed to sell up to $50,000 per year – these new operations are intended for incubators or ancillary income, not a substitute for commercial-scale operations.” They estimate start-up costs just shy of $900.

Under SB 946 sidewalk vending will no longer be criminalized anywhere in California. According to our friends in LA that worked on the bill – Public Counsel, LURN – “vendors with pending citations and prior convictions will have an opportunity to clear their record, and vendors will now have a path to legal vending. This means that tens of thousands of low-income entrepreneurs, workers, immigrants, and their families will be better protected from the harms of criminalization and will have better access to economic opportunity.”

Historic Truth-In-Lending Law for Small Businesses 

SB-1235, became law in California when Governor Brown signed the bill in October 2018. Because of you — and the hard work of a broad coalition of industry and nonprofit organizations — we’ve set the national standard for transparency in small business financing. 

California’s “truth in lending” law is the first in the country, and our state is leading the way to ensure that small business borrowers have more transparency and clearer information when considering online and alternative financing options.

Under the new law, Department of Business Oversight (DBO) will set clear and consistent disclosure standards that provide small business owners with better transparency during the loan process. CAMEO, along with our partners, led a coalition of more than 60 private sector and nonprofit organizations to support this legislation and ensure its integrity. We will be working with DBO during the regulatory process to represent the interests of our small business borrowers.

A big thanks to those we worked with: Louis Caditz-Peck of LendingClub, Kurt Chilcott of CDC Small Business Finance, Mark Herbert of Small Business Majority, Connor French and Laura Bond of Funding Circle, Gabriel Villarreal and Gwendy Brown of Opportunity Fund, Sharon Velazquez of Greenlining, and Kevin Stein of CRC. The effort came together because we worked together to build a coalition and bounce strategy off each other. It was a huge team effort and CAMEO played a large role in that.

Our work isn’t done. One down, 49 states to go. If you’re not an endorser or signatory. We’d like to invite you to continue your support of small business by becoming an official endorser of the Small Businesses Borrowers’ Bill of Rights.


California Budget – $23 Million for Small Business Development 

We did it! After years of knocking on the doors of California legislators, California invested $23 million in small business development for FY2019.


Legislative Win for Micro-Business Development

In October 2015 California Governor Brown signed into law SB 197 (Block) – Referral Fees Bill, which increases access to affordable capital for California’s 3.6 million small and microbusiness owners. The law helps small business owners learn about responsible financing options at reasonable rates that help build their credit. This is especially important for women-owned and minority-owned firms, which have the greatest difficulty obtaining financing. CAMEO was proud and excited to co-sponsor (with Opportunity Fund).


Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) Program

In February 2012 President Obama signed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, aka the payroll tax – unemployment extension bill. The bill also contains the Wyden Start-Up bill, a $35 million self-employment assistance program. Under the program, unemployed workers will be able to maintain their unemployment insurance benefits while they start their own small businesses – a full-time job in its own right – without having to look for other full-time work. This was not the case before this bill was signed. The money can be used by states to offer a Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) Program. One of CAMEO’s 2012 policy activities was to develop a bill to be introduced in the California legislature in 2013.

We introduced AB 152 Self-Employment Assistance Program (Yamada) in January of 2013, but it languished in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill would have allowed the unemployed to keep their benefits while starting their own businesses. We want to thank Asm. Yamada for her leadership and for being ahead of the curve on this issue. The proposed SEA program would have created 5,200 new businesses and 15,000 new jobs.

We regret that the State has missed the opportunity to receive $5.3 million from the federal government to help unemployed people create their own jobs. However, moving mountains takes a while. We made many friends in the last year and raised the stature of self-employment so that it is now in the state plan for the California Workforce Investment Board. We will continue to make sure that the self-employment trend is recognized by the Workforce System and work with EDD to find solutions.


USDA Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program

CAMEO lobbied for the successful implementation of the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, created by Congress’ 2008 Farm Bill. The USDA will increase grants for rural microlending and technical assistance. The Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program was allocated $14 million for fiscal years 2009-2011.

New Jobs Tax Credit

SB 15 of the Third Extraordinary Session; Stats. 2009, Ch. 17 added R&TC Sections 17053.80 and 23623 operative for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2009.

This statute created a new tax credit of $3,000 for each additional full-time employee hired by a micro-business with 20 or less employees beginning January 1, 2009.

Restoration of the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

When Governor Schwarzenegger gutted funding for this program in the state budget, CAMEO worked with local Community Development Financial Institutions and Assemblyman Manny Perez to restore funding to one of the most successful small business financing programs in the state.

CAMEO also worked with Assemblyman Manny Perez to expand the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program to include more types of qualified small businesses that should include micro-business.

Micro-business Development Month Designation

CAMEO worked with Senator Leland Yee to pass SCR 41, which designates July 2009 and July of every year thereafter as Micro-Business Development Month.