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CAMEO to Act as Network Manager for California SSBCI Technical Assistance Program

Today, the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) named CAMEO, California’s statewide small business network and leading voice for businesses with one to five employees, as the Capital Readiness Network Manager for the Technical Assistance for Capital Readiness Program. In this role, CAMEO will manage a network of resource partners in a new initiative that seeks to ensure underserved small business owners are equipped to access lending opportunities from state-backed programs, traditional banks, and mission-based community development financial institutions (CDFIs). These investments will begin reaching Main Street borrowers this year as part of the state’s ongoing efforts to support small businesses, spur job creation, and continue to create an inclusive and prosperous California economy for all.

The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) was originally created through federal legislation – the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 with the intention to help states address the challenges small businesses face in securing financing. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 reauthorized and funded a new version of the original SSBCI program, providing a combined $10 billion to states to empower:

  • Small businesses to access capital needed to invest in job-creating opportunities
  • Support the promotion of American entrepreneurship
  • Democratize access to startup capital across the country, including in underserved communities.

The SSBCI TA Program’s primary purpose is to help Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual (SEDI)-owned businesses, Very Small Businesses (VSBs), and Small Manufacturing Enterprises (SME) access and apply for capital funding from an SSBCI-supported program or other federal or other jurisdiction small business program. The SSBCI TA Program prioritizes services from technical assistance providers that will meet program goals as outlined by US Treasury and serve businesses that are owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDI) and very small businesses (VSB), including services that:

  • Increase awareness and readiness for entrepreneurs and small businesses applying for capital.
  • Result in the successful acquisition of capital as well as supportive services post loan.
  • Increase legal, accounting, and financial management skills.
  • Support the equitable coverage of small businesses across the state’s vast geographic regions.

The SSBCI TA Program will utilize a mesh network that provides varying levels of technical assistance navigators to meet entrepreneurs and small businesses where they are. TA programs and services shall be guided by an individualized TA plan and consist of high touch, one-on-one coaching to support the small business owner in preparing for access to capital (pre-funding and post-funding).

As the Network Manager, CAMEO’s role is to convene the network to ensure that the program is running smoothly. Our goal is to create a successful program that will benefit the small businesses that need it the most.