California Policy

CAMEO California Legislative Priorities for Microbusiness

2024 State Advocacy Priorities

Sponsored Bills

CAMEO is sponsoring or co-sponsoring three bills for the 2024 California legislative session:

SB 1482 – Responsible Business Lending

Over the last fifteen years, practices from the pre-crisis subprime mortgage market have become common in small business financing. SB 1482 (Glazer) plugs several holes in California’s legal framework that are allowing some brokers and financing companies to take advantage of small businesses. SB 1482 will establish a framework of transparency for brokers, put non-loan financing companies under the purview of DFPI, and close loopholes in price disclosure regulations.

SB 1103 – Protecting Small Commercial Tenants

SB 1103 (Menjivar) creates equity and transparency with respect to commercial leasing and reduces the risk of community-serving small businesses and nonprofits being displaced. The bill aims to protect small commercial tenants by expanding translation requirements, limiting security deposits, and increasing notice periods for contract termination. CAMEO is co-sponsoring this bill with Bet Tzedek, Inclusive Action for the City, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of San Francisco, Public Counsel, and Small Business Majority.

SB 1286 – Expanding Debt Collection Protection to Small Businesses

SB 1286 (Min) aims to protect small business owners from harassment and predatory behavior in debt collection by expanding the Rosenthal Act to apply to small businesses with a personal guarantee. CAMEO is co-sponsoring this bill with the East Bay Community Law Center, Consumer Federation of California, and Small Business Majority.

Other 2024 Advocacy Priorities

MEHKO Advocacy Cohort

Through the passage of Assembly Bill (AB 626) in 2018, the California legislature created a significant new pathway for aspiring culinary entrepreneurs through the establishment of “microenterprise home kitchen operation” (MEHKO) as a new category of retail food facility. MEHKOs are based in private residences, where cooks can prepare, cook, and serve food to consumers either via delivery, take-out, or dine-in on the same day. AB 626 requires that each county (or municipality with its own health department) opt in to the law, and currently 12 counties and one municipality have authorized MEHKOs: Alameda, Amador, Imperial, Lake, Monterey, Riverside, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Sierra, and Solano Counties, and the City of Berkeley.

CAMEO and COOK Alliance launched the MEHKO Advocacy Cohort in March 2024 as part of the California MEHKO Project. COOK Alliance and CAMEO will act as facilitators/trainers in an educational cohort of awardees who will collaborate to develop MEHKO advocacy initiatives. Advocacy work will involve engagement with legislators, training new advocates, and developing both grassroots (mobilizing ordinary individuals) and grasstops (mobilizing influential stakeholders) support for the program. The goal of the Advocacy Cohort is to bring a MEHKO program to California counties that have not yet opted in.

2023 State Advocacy Wins

California State Budget

  • The Technical Assistance Expansion Program (TAEP) received $23 million to support Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).
  • The $50 million for the California Investment and Innovation program, administered by the California Pollution Control Financing Authority, will provide capacity-building funding for CDFIs and remains intact.

Sponsored Bills

  • SB 33 (Glazer) – 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.
  • SB 666 (Min) – This new law prohibits small business financing companies from charging specified fees in connection with a financing transaction with a small business. 

Other Bills CAMEO Supported

Advocacy Highlights

Responsible Business Lending

DFPI Expansion

In 2020, CAMEO worked with a coalition of small business advocates, economic justice advocates and consumer groups to support the expansion of the Department of Business Oversight to the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI).  Ultimately, the DFPI will have enforcement powers over bad actors in the small business lending space.

Historic Truth-in-Lending Law for Small Businesses

We did it! With your help! Thank you for your strong support of SB-1235, which became law in California when Governor Brown signed the bill in 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 Legislative Resources