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Sonora – DIY Economy in Action

IMG_1813On December 17, the CAMEO staff took a field trip to visit Larry Cope, the head of economic development in Tuolomne County, at his office in Sonora. After chatting with him for a few minutes, it was clear to all of us that the work Larry and his team do represents the epitome of a DIY Economy.

Shortly after Larry started his job in March of 2009, Sonora (the county seat) lost 4,500 jobs from the closure of Mervyn’s, Gottshalk’s, and Sierra Pacific. He had his work cut out for him.  So he set his team to work.

Not wanting to lose more companies, they focused on business retention for the first three years – and entrepreneurship. They weren’t planning on beefing up the latter, but he found out that all of the entities that provided business assistance were duplicating services. And in a rural area with a small economic development budget, that needed to change. He sat everyone down at the table – Columbia College, SCORE, the SBDC and other stakeholders – and created the Business Alliance of Tuolome County. They streamlined their offerings and each entity concentrated on what they did best.  They organize 25 basic classes a year in workshop format in everything from business plan basics to marketing to social media; and they started an enhanced counseling program with CDBG funds for businesses in the city of Sonora.

In 2012, Larry organized the Central Sierra Economic Development District that includes Alpine, Calaveras, Tuolome, and Mariposa counties as well as a handful of cities. They share resources and provide classes. This year their main goals will be to expand broadband connectivity outside the towns and expand support to microbusinesses.

IMG_1825In another effort, Larry and his team marshaled resources and leveraged relationships to open the InnovationLab in September 2014.  They partnered with UC Merced and others, raised just $35,000, negotiated very cheap rent with the county, and cut the ribbon on a collective space that includes a networking/co-working space, a computer lab, an electronics lab, a hard tool workspace, a 3-D printing lab and more. They should break even in six months and after two months are well on their way.

Before Larry started, the county’s economic development strategy was based on chasing smoke stacks, or business attraction.  The idea of business attraction needs to be reformed, and alternative incentives need to be developed. Cash and tax give-aways aren’t the only thing.  Larry and his team are using free rent in vacant government properties and connecting potential businesses with local investors. They’re beefing up the STEM curriculum in the high school and community college. Attraction at any cost has to go” says Larry.  “We need to think of the types of businesses that would provide sustainable, long term economic growth for the community.”

The type of businesses Larry and his team try to attract to Sonora are small technology companies and family-based businesses that are squeezed out of the Bay Area. Family-based businesses aren’t worried about shareholder value; they have a stake in their community and have an expanded sense of what it means to be successful. If a business is all about the bottom line, then at some point or another, that business is bound to leave.

IMG_1831It’s not all about hi-tech. Larry helped Mountain People Organics, an organics buying club, find space in the old National Guard building for 20 cents a square foot. Two days a week, the space holds MPO’s buying club, as well as a farmer’s market with organic food producers and craftspeople – collectively called The Farmory. Larry and his team connect the microbusiness owners with the resources the county and city have to offer. I couldn’t resist supporting at least a couple of the local businesses.

Over lunch, I asked Larry how successful Tuolomne’s economic development strategy is in terms of jobs and businesses. After letting us know that the occupancy rate is 98%, he laughed and said “we know we’re doing a good job when the owner of the restaurant bakes you cookies.” All kidding aside, Larry says that the challenge is to develop metrics that truly reflect the improvements in business and the improved entrepreneurial ecosystem so that businesses are committed for the long haul.

Paid Sick Leave in California

From the California Employers Association:

PAID SICK LEAVE LAW IN CALIFORNIA

The Healthy Workplace, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522) was signed into law in 2014.
The basic intent of the law is to provide all employees with at least three days or 24 hours of paid sick leave each year.

What does this mean for you as an employer?
Effective January 1, 2015 ALL employers must post a Paid Sick Leave Notice in their place of business. Effective July 1, 2015, ALL employers, both public and private, will be required to provide paid sick leave to all of their employees, with a few exceptions (unionized workers, home health care providers and airline flight crews).

Employers are not required to pay out accrued sick time at termination.

What does AB 1522 mean for employees?
Under AB 1522, ALL employees who work in California for 30 or more days in a calendar year will earn paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked! This accrual method begins as of 7/1/15 and employees must be allowed to use any accrued time after 90 days of employment. (Former employees that are re-hired within one year are entitled to have previously accrued and unused paid sick days be reinstated.)

Employers will be allowed to limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to three (3) days per year and can cap accrual of paid sick leave at six days.

Another option to the accrual method described above is to give employees all of their paid sick leave up front. This has been called “front loading”, “the lump sum method”, or “granted leave”. In each case, employers are permitted to grant three or more days of paid sick leave at the start of the year to their employees to avoid the administrative burdens of tracking accrual and carry over.

When can employees use AB 1522?
Employees can use AB 1522 to take paid leave for themselves or a family member for preventive care or care of an existing health condition or for specified purposes if they are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Family members include the employee’s parent, child, spouse, registered domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling. Preventive care would include annual physicals or flu shots. For partial days employers can require leave be taken in two hours increments, but otherwise the determination of how much time is needed is left to the employee.

Existing law already requires employers that provide paid sick time to allow employees to use half of their yearly allotment for “kin care” (care of their sick child, parent, spouse, registered domestic partner). The new law does not repeal “kin care” but expands it to include grandparents, grandchildren and siblings.

Employers with more generous plans will have to allow employees to use 1/2 of the annual sick leave entitlement for Kin Care.

Posting, Notice and Record Keeping Requirements
In addition to accounting for and providing the accrued leave, employers are required to:

  • Display a Paid Sick Leave Poster as of 1/1/2015
  • Include the amount of paid sick leave accrued on employees~itemized wage statements
  • Retain all paid sick leave records for three years
  • Use the revised Wage Theft Prevention Act Notice on or before 7/1/15

What if I already provide paid sick leave for my employees?
California employers who already provide at least three days of paid sick time, will now have additional administrative requirements, including:

  • Recording an employee’s sick leave balance on itemized wage statements, or another writing, on each pay day.
  • Carry-over of accrued sick leave with the cap of six days.
  • Documentation showing hours worked as well as paid sick days accrued and used by an employee.
  • Rate of Pay

Employees should be paid their regular rate of pay for sick leave. However, if your employee is paid different hourly rates, is paid a commission, is paid by piece rate or flag rate, etc. then you must “Divide employee’s total wages, not including overtime premium pay, by the employee’s total hours worked in the full pay period of the prior 90 days of employment” to determine an hourly rate to be paid for sick leave.

Where to find help

California Employers Association is here to assist you in navigating this new law. We have webinars dedicated to this topic in December, February and again in June. We can assist you in developing a Paid Sick Leave Policy that fits your company’s needs. By July 1, 2015 you will be informed and ready to address this new law with your employees and in your employee handbook.

Recommendation and Source Information
Don’t change your policy or create a new one just yet! This bill was just passed and there are still many unanswered questions. A list of frequently asked questions was released the first week of December, and we anticipate there will be more to come. For now, get informed, ask questions and watch for our updates.

Paid Sick Leave FAQ’s
Paid Sick Leave Poster
Updated WageTheft Notice

Webinars (click to register)

Thursday, December 11th – noon to 1:00 pm
Wednesday, December 17th – noon to 1:00 pm
Wednesday, February 4th – noon to 1:00 pm
Wednesday, June 10th – noon to 1:00 pm

Task Force to Improve Workforce Education and Promote Job Creation

California Community Colleges Board of Governors Creates Task Force to Improve Workforce Education and Promote Job Creation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Seeking to make community college workforce education even more responsive to the state’s economy, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors today established a task force to develop policies that will prepare more students for existing high value jobs and promote job creation with workforce training that sparks small business development and lures out-of-state business investment in key industry sectors.

“The Board of Governors is committed to improving our students’ employment prospects and growing the state’s economy,” said Manuel Baca, president of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. “The California Community Colleges has served as an economic springboard for many Californians and it must enact smart and thoughtful policies in the future for it to continue in that role and I look forward to hearing the recommendations the task force develops.”

The Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy will be comprised of representatives from the California Community Colleges, business community, labor groups, public agencies involved in workforce training, K-12 policy, and community based organizations.

“Community colleges serve as the workforce training engines behind California’s regional economies,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris. “The task force commissioned today will meet with industry leaders, college faculty and staff, elected officials, and other important members of the community to determine what our college system must do to help us achieve the best for our students and state.”

The task force will conduct its work in three separate phases. The first phase, set to begin this December, will involve holding meetings with community college practitioners to surface strategies and prioritize workforce training policies and practices that engender flexibility to respond to the changing labor market, regional responsiveness, partnership with industry, and ensure student degrees, certificates, credentials, and coursework are universally honored by colleges and have value to employers.

The second phase will start in February 2015 and involve town hall meetings in regions across the state with elected officials and leaders from business, economic development agencies, K-12, labor, and other community organizations to vet and build on ideas and practices that bring stronger alignment between community colleges and key industry sectors. The town hall meetings will include interactive discussions focused on how the community college system can act as a catalyst for growth in California’s regional economies.

The final phase involves meetings of the full task force itself. Members will deliberate over information and issues identified at the regional meetings and develop a set of recommendations by the end of summer 2015, which will be proposed for adoption by the Board of Governors.

Throughout the spring, the broader community would be invited to respond to the draft recommendations via the task force’s website.

The task force will build upon other initiatives that the California Community Colleges has undertaken to increase individual and regional economic competitiveness by providing the state’s workforce with relevant skills and quality credentials that match employer needs and fuel a stronger economy. .

In August, the California Community Colleges announced a goal of increasing student completions by nearly 250,000 statewide to help meet the needs of the labor market and to ensure more Californians have access to higher education.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy framework and the Student Success Initiative provide the foundation to launch this task force and have also been working to increase workforce and economic competitiveness.

These measures are necessary in light of statistics indicating that there will be 6.3 million job openings in California through 2020, of which 2 million jobs will require a post-secondary certificate or associate degree.

Furthermore, studies show that the labor market is increasingly demanding a more skilled workforce. Whereas in the 1970s 28 percent of jobs required more than a high school education, by 2020 it is estimated that 65 percent of job openings in the United States will require some postsecondary education or training.

To see the calendar of events for the task force, go to:

http://doingwhatmatters.cccco.edu/StrongWorkforce/Events.aspx.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/.

Implications of 2014 Mid-Term Elections

Written by Martin Feeney, Madison Services Group

In case you hadn’t noticed, Republicans won big on election night last week. In the biennial tradition of Congressional elections, changes are coming to the House and Senate. The following is an overview of the mid-term elections and what changes to expect when the new Congress convenes this coming January.

The Elections – Big Changes Set for 2015

In the Senate, Republicans gained eight seats, giving them control of the upper chamber come January. Pending the outcome of a run-off election in Louisiana between incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy in December, Republicans will have at least 53 seats to the Democrats’ 46. In the House, Republicans increased their majority by 12 seats, their largest majority in the House since 1930. In the states, the GOP won outright control of nine state legislatures and defended 24 Governors’ mansions and added two more.

The California Congressional delegation lost two stalwarts of the House, Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) to retirement this year. Serving a combined 80 years in Congress, both were elected in 1975 and rose to lead the House Education and Workforce and Energy and Commerce Committees, respectively. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will retain the top spot for Democrats in the House as will House Majority Leader Kevin McCarty (R-CA).
Two incumbents, Reps. Ami Bera (D-CA) and Jim Costa (D-CA) were both locked in races that were not called until November 19, more than two weeks after the elections. Neither of California’s two Senators were on the ballot this year.

A couple of noteworthy observations from last week’s elections: once again, women made up the majority of voters, making up 51% of the vote. Broken down, 51% of women voters supported Democratic candidates and 47% voted Republican.

There were a number of firsts: the election of the first black Republican Senator from the South since Reconstruction, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) from South Carolina and the first black Republican woman elected to the House, Mia Love from Utah. There are also 100 women in the Congress for the first time ever, while the number of black women in in Congress will rise to 18.

New Committee Chairs Take Over in the Senate and House

Focusing on the Senate, the shift in power sets up a whole new Committee structure. CAMEO works closely with the Chairs and Ranking Members of many Committees that impact the microbusiness industry. The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee is of particular importance to CAMEO’s work. Changes in that Committee will see the Chair switch from Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to Senator David Vitter (R-LA). The Ranking Member will shift from Senator James Risch (R-ID) to either Senator Cantwell or Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD).

With respect to the Appropriations Committees that oversee government funding, there are changes as well. The new Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee will be Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) and the new Ranking Member will be Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who has led the Committee for the last two years. The Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee – the one that oversees the Department of Labor and its workforce training system – will be likely chaired by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and the Ranking Member could either be Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) or Senator Bob Casey (D-PA).

Although the parties did not switch in the House, the Republicans have long had a rule that Committee Chairs can only serve for a total of 6 years. This was instituted in 1994 to allow opportunities to switch the leadership of the Committees. As a result of being “termed-out,” Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) will step down from his Chairmanship of the House Small Business Committee. The Republican Steering Committee, the arbiter of Republican Committee slotting, has already tapped Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) to serve as Chair in the new Congress. The Ranking Member will remain Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-NY). The Chairs of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), and the Education and Workforce Committee, Rep. John Kline (R-MN), will remain the same.

Leadership Changes: Titles Change, but Faces Don’t

At the leadership level in the Senate, there will be many title changes, but few new faces. When the new Congress convenes in January 2015, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will be Senate Majority Leader and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) will be Senate Minority Leader. The Democrats made one notable change—they added Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to their leadership team to liaison with the progressive wing of the Democratic party. In the House, the leadership changes came mostly on the Democratic side. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) elevated two women – Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) to head the powerful Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. In addition, she chose a relative newcomer, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) to head the Democratic Congressional Committee. The Republicans kept most of their leadership team the same.

What to Expect: New Policy Priorities

These major shifts in power bring new opportunities to CAMEO and our members. First, we have an opportunity to talk about microbusinesses to a whole host of new Members and their staffs. Second, Republicans are pledging a more orderly and predictable budget and appropriations process given that they will control both Houses of Congress. That would be exceptionally good news for our policy work because of the importance of PRIME, the Microloan Program, the Community Advantage Program, the CDFI fund, Women’s Business Centers, Boots to Business Program, and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program.

Republicans have outlined comprehensive tax reform, repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and reducing regulations and fiscal restraint as the path toward economic growth. In the Democratic-controlled Senate, the list was not the same. Senator Cantwell, and Senator Landrieu before her, were focused on entrepreneurship and ways to strengthen tools available to them. Both also focused heavily on the wealth gap and barriers for women entrepreneurs. It is doubtful that incoming Chair Vitter will have the same priorities. Chair Graves in the House, made procurement reforms for small businesses a priority—the new Chair is not likely to have the same priority.

Small business issues, however, are not particularly partisan. Republicans and Democrats share a willingness to help businesses start, grow and succeed. While they have traditionally championed lowering taxes and reducing regulations, we know those alone are not enough. AEO research has shown that with training and counseling, business success increases, both in terms of business success rates and increased average revenues. Similarly, the SBA’s loan programs have been essential to filling the lending gap in the private sector since 2008, as have CDFIs, which provided more than 24,000 business loans last year. CAMEO’s advocacy for these programs contributes directly to the success of microbusiness businesses in California. Investment in small business is a theme both parties can rally around.

In the coming months, please take a moment to reach out your elected officials, whether they are freshman Representatives or long-time incumbents. Educate them on the work you do and the importance of microbusinesses to California’s economy.

Mike Sabellico Bio

Mike Sabellico is a versatile executive management professional.  He possesses over twenty-five years of diverse work experience in leading programs, managing multimillion dollar budgets and assets, and improving quality and processes.  Mike is a twenty year veteran of the US Coast Guard (USCG) with several Command Cadre tours.  During his time with the Coast Guard, Mike gained a significant amount of experience in Maritime and Emergency Response, ranging from Search and Rescue and Maritime counter smuggling efforts to hurricane and natural disaster response.  He has hands on executive experience from both a planning and actual operations perspective.  After leaving the Coast Guard, he managed a robust business development program for a San Diego based defense contractor with offices throughout the US.  He left that company in 2010 to launch Vanguard Global Solutions, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business specializing in Homeland Security, Emergency Preparedness, and specialized business consulting focusing on marketing, growth strategy, certifications, and sales.

Mike is a hands-on program manager with an impressive ability to coalesce diverse technical and management skill sets within a team environment to achieve desired results.  His government contracting experience in multiple industries provides an exceptional understanding and knowledge base into the challenges faced by small business owners entering government contracting.   Mike’s working knowledge of entering and maintaining a federal government contracting space combined with a team of exceptional professionals provides Vanguard Global Solutions a competitive advantage in the consulting business.

Mike was a consultant at the Orange County Small Business Development Center in Santa Ana, California from 2010 until recently.  He was a valuable asset to his clients at the Orange County SBDC, providing a wealth of experience in the areas of procurement, government contracting, and networking. He belongs to several defense industry associations and has built an impressive network within the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security communities in the Southern California. He fosters a strong sense of collaboration with many local organizations including the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and State procurement offices in the region, referring clients and working collaboratively to address their needs.

Mike was recently named as the new Executive Director  for the Disabled Veteran Business Alliance (DVBA).  The DVBA formed in 1994 following the establishment of the Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) program by the California legislature in 1989. The California DVBE program set a 3% goal for DVBE participation in state contracts for goods and services. It also required eligible DVBEs to obtain certification of their capabilities by the state’s Department of General Services before they could participate in the program.

Mike was selected as the Orange County/Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network’s recipient of the 2013 State Star Award. The State Star award is presented annually to an outstanding staff member from each SBDC network from across the country that shows a strong commitment to small business success and makes a significant contribution to their regional SBDC program.  Over the years, Sabellico has shared his experience and provided expert guidance in the areas of procurement strategy, certification, marketing, networking and government contracting. His assistance has led clients to be awarded over $48.8 million in contracts, $22 million in increased sales, and to create and retain 558 jobs.

Recently, Mike was selected to receive the 2014 Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Santa Ana District Office.  Sabellico was nominated for the award by Leila Mozaffari, Director of the Orange County Small Business Development Center (SBDC), in recognition of his efforts serving the veteran business community as a mentor, consultant, and volunteer.

Mike is a native of Suffield, CT. He graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1987 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Government and from the University of Phoenix in 2013 with his Master’s in Business Administration. He currently lives in Carlsbad, CA with his wife, Kathryn, and sons Shawn and Kevin.

Sandy Schneeberger bio

Ms. Sandy Schneeberger retired from the United States Army Reserves in 2005, having served from 1984-2005 for over twenty one years, including four years in active duty status.  Her specialty training allowed her to work in several job positions in Administration, Training, Logistics, and Transportation serving first at the company level, promoted to battalion, brigade and retiring out of the Headquarters Regional Support Command G-1 at Los Alamitos.

Sandy started her business during her military career, and focused on growing an environmental consulting firm providing a variety of services including hazardous materials, geology/hydrogeology, and her specialty, cultural resources management.  She received a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from California State University, Fullerton. Once retired from the Army, Sandy grew her company as President and CEO of The Sanberg Group, Inc. to three locations, including Los Angeles, San Diego, and recently Henderson, Nevada.  The firm has projects throughout the California region, Arizona, Nevada, Maryland and Minnesota.

The Sanberg Group, Inc. is a small disadvantaged business, service disabled veteran owned small business (SDVOB/DVBE), and woman / disadvantaged business enterprise (WBE/DBE), providing environmental consulting and construction contracting services to federal, state, and local government, and private industry.  Her clients include several government agencies including VA, USACE, BLM, DOD, USDA (Forest Service).  The Sanberg Group, Inc. manages numerous diverse projects and continues to develop marketing strategies in response to changes in the economy and market.

In addition to The Sanberg Group, Inc., Sandy is the owner of GSJ Utility Supply & Service, a distributor for a variety of construction materials for highway projects, and also mechanical and electrical products in the both private and public sectors. Her clients include the VA Hospitals, VA Veterans Homes, Department of Corrections, and Cal-Trans and several large construction firms.  GSJ is also a certified DVBE/SDVOB, WBE, and DBE firm.

As an advocate for the past five years, Sandy has worked to bring awareness of veteran small businesses to corporations and local government agencies and to make veteran small businesses aware of these opportunities and how to do business with corporations and government agencies in the region. She currently serves as a President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Elite SDVOB Network, a national veteran organization, and participates on several counsels or boards, including Metro (MTA) TBAC, Metropolitan Water District (MWD), City of Los Angeles, and SoCal Edison representing the local disabled veteran community in order to develop more DVBE programs and contracting goals within the Los Angeles market space.  She often serves on panels, discussions and workshops in support of the veteran and disabled veteran business community. Recently she has been appointed as California Department of Veteran Affairs, (CDVA) Co-Chair for the DVBE Council for state level advocacy.  Serving on the CDVA procurement committee, her focus is to establish more city and county DVBE programs within the state for more contracting opportunities. At the national level, she also a member of the Small Business Task Force of the American Legion, Post 1, Washington D.C. in order to keep up with the national legislation involving veterans and disabled veteran businesses that the Legion is advocating.  In 2013, The Sanberg Group, Inc. received both the Los Angeles District and the Western Regional SBA Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year, the Wells Fargo Bank Community Impact Award, and the Southern California Edison Supplier Diversity award in recognition of her commitment and service to the veteran and disabled veteran businesses and making a difference.

In addition to involvement in other professional organizations, Sandy has been an active member of the La Habra American Legion Post #267, and has served as the 3rd Vice Commander to help coordinate the post community outreach programs for the city and county. Participating in these organizations helps her to continue her commitment to serve our nation’s military veterans.

Balancing the endless hours of running her business, Sandy finds time to enjoy time with her husband of 27 years and keeping up with her two daughters.  A strong believer in giving back, she travels outside the U.S. to teach English as a second language and supports her husband abroad when planning and constructing water wells in developing nations.

 

2013 Top Three CAMEO Microlenders

CAMEO’s microlenders made 2,049 loans last year, a 30% increase over 2012, but the majority of those loans came from the following three lenders:  Opportunity Fund, VEDC and Accion San Diego. Seventy-seven percent of all CAMEO loans came from three lenders, and over half came from Opportunity Fund.  Overall these three programs have seen significant growth from 2011, anywhere from doubling or tripling the number of loans they’ve made and increasing the dollars on the street – all while maintaining their portfolio’s quality.

This is snapshot of those organizations’ lending programs; for more information, visit the microTracker website, or see our forthcoming white paper on the 2013 Microenterprise Census.

OppFundTrends

Opportunity Fund has seen the fastest growth among CAMEO’s microlenders, almost tripling the number of loans they made in 2011. They account for more than half of the total lending activity among our member network, and made 1,067 loans in 2013 with a combined volume of $11.1 million; the average loan size was $10,381. This represents a 21% increase over the previous year’s 882 loans, and a 296% increase over 2011. Despite the size of their portfolio, their borrowers pay on time and consistently, with less than 1% of their loan dollars declared unrecoverable at year’s end. They served 1,481 clients.

Opportunity Fund reported $3.33 million in revenue for the microenterprise program last year, supporting 20 FTE staff and 8.9 FTE loan officers. Their average revenue per client was $2,251.

Learn more at Opportunity Fund’s microTracker profile.

VEDCTrends

The second largest lender in our network, the Valley Economic Development Center served 1,849 clients in 2013, 302 of whom received microloans totalling $2.3 million. Their average loan size was $7,616. VEDC has also grown substantially over the last three years, more than doubling their number of loans since 2012 while maintaining the quality of their portfolio; less than 3% of the loan dollars were declared unrecoverable last year.

The organization has an annual revenue of $925,000 that supports five full time employees or equivalent, four of whom are loan officers. This is a revenue per client of just $500.

Learn more at VEDC’s microTracker profile!

AccionTrends

 

Accion San Diego has also seen consistent growth over the last several years, doubling their lending activity from 2011. In 2013, Accion served 710 clients, and made 206 microloans for a total of $2.5 million. Their average loan size was $11,915. Like our other top lenders, they were able to grow without a huge leap in loan defaults; only 0.6% of their total loan volume was declared unrecoverable in 2013.

Accion San Diego has an annual revenue of $2.02 million dollars, and has 14 full-time or equivalent employees working in its micro program, including 3 FTE loan officers. Their revenue per client ratio is $2,849.

Learn more at Accion’s microTracker profile!

WOVEN Logistics

Information about parking, nearby hotels and other logistics will be posted here.

WOVEN Speakers

Arnone BWKim Arnone
Director of Crowdfunding
Cutting Edge Capital

Afternoon Breakout I: Financing for Growth

Kim has 18 years of experience working with start-up enterprises, small- and medium-sized businesses and Fortune 500 companies to solve business, legal and capital raising challenges. She works with for-profit businesses, non-profit entities, and cooperatives to help them identify the best way to design a capital raising strategy that works with her clients’ business strategy, marketing plans and long-term goals. Kim is Co-Chair of the East Bay Women In Business Roundtable and sits on the Board of Directors of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Kim lives, works and plays in Oakland, and is committed to helping her community be vibrant, socially responsible, and inclusive.

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Marsha Bailey
CEO/Founder, Women’s Economic Ventures
Chair, Association of Women’s Business Centers

Lunch Keynote: Introduction

Marsha has been developing educational programs and services for women since 1983 and is the primary author of WEV’s self-employment training curriculum, From Vision to Venture. She has a Master’s Degree in Communication from UCSB and a B.A. from Michigan State University in Fine Art and Sociology. She is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional.

Under Marsha’s leadership, WEV has grown from a small organization with two employees and an annual budget of $75,000 to a nationally recognized women’s business development organization with 14 employees and an annual budget of $1.4 million.

Marsha is a member of the National Women’s Business Council, the President of the Board of Directors of the national Association of Women’s Business Centers, a member of the Union Bank of California’s Community Advisory Board, and past President of the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO). She has served on the Board of Directors of many local organizations including the Fund for Santa Barbara and the Women’s Political Committee.

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Lisa photoLisa Baird
Business Designer
IDEO

Afternoon Breakout I, II: Branding

Lisa has twelve years experience in finance and financial strategy. She is a business designer with a passion for new-venture design, and she has a particular interest in the interactive power of advanced financial models. Lisa believes that a well-designed financial model doesn’t look like a financial model at all — through beautiful design it empowers non-numbers people and bean-counters alike to imagine (and re-imagine) new businesses, products, services, and experiences.

Lisa started her career in investment banking in New York before moving into enterprise finance at two large public university systems in Texas and California. Immediately prior to IDEO, Lisa was a Senior Program Officer in the postsecondary education group at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Lisa earned her MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her bachelor’s degree in finance as well as a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin. Lisa is a luxury/fashion hobbyist, and in her free time, she runs a couple of small consumer-facing startups in the luxury and travel markets.

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Karen Bates photoKaren Bates
Founder of Military Loans
President, The VApro Network

Lunch Keynote

Karen completed eight years of service as a Naval Air Traffic Controller and then became a Certified Public Accountant. In 2004, Karen combined her military background with her financial expertise and founded Military Home Loans. Her passion is to ensure Veterans never miss the opportunity to experience their American dream. In 2014, loaded with 10 years of knowledge and experience from closing over 600 VA transactions, Karen and her husband Ken created The VApro Network. The VApro Network offers an in-depth VA sales training course and coaching platform for women Veterans. These graduates can then provide exclusive VA training to their own agents and provide the value that agents are craving from their lending partners.

Karen is California’s 2013 Mortgage Professional of the Year and was featured on Yahoo Finance for earning and retaining $1 million as a female entrepreneur. Karen is devoted to her husband of 16 years and is blessed with their beautiful daughter Elizabeth (8).

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Valery BellosoValery Belloso
Business Development Officer
Accion San Diego

Morning Breakout: Microlending

Valery has worked with the organization for over eight years. As a BDO, she is instrumental in referral cultivation, partnership development, planning and executing Accion’s educational business events and raising awareness about Accion’s services in order to serve a larger number of entrepreneurs within San Diego County. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from University of San Diego and a Masters in Spanish Language and Literature from San Diego State University.

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Betsy Densmore photoBetsy Densmore
Founder/Director
Academies for Social Entrepreneurship (ASE)

Morning Breakout: Demystifying Entrepreneurship

As ASE’s Director, Betsy has counseled two hundred not-for-profit organizations, catalyzing over ten million dollars in new revenue for charitable ventures. Densmore is an entrepreneur herself, having founded three hospitality businesses, an insurance agency and two nonprofit organizations. In addition to running ASE, she is part owner of two Mexican restaurants. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University’s School of Education and Psychology, where she teaches in their Social Entrepreneurship and Change Masters Program. Prior to launching ASE, she managed an office and lead programs for a global training and development organization for ten years. Her experience also includes a decade of service as the Executive Director of a community foundation, running an energy services social enterprise, and serving as the Manager of Consumer and Community Affairs for a Fortune 500 retailer. Born in Massachusetts, and a veteran of 25 years in the Midwest, she now serves on the Boards LA Social Venture Partners and the LA Chapter of Social Enterprise Alliance. She holds an MA in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Sharon Evans
Executive Director
Business Resources Group

Afternoon Breakout I: Financing for Growth

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Daniel Fernandez
Regional Manager, Los Angeles
Opportunity Fund

Morning Breakout: Microlending

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Eldonna_01812Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
CEO, Dynamic Vision International Inc.
author, ThinkLikeANegotiator.com

Afternoon Breakout II: Think Like a Negotiator

Eldonna is a retired Air Force veteran with 23 years of honorable military service.  She is a negotiation and contracts expert with over 30 years of leadership, contracts management and negotiation experience.  She has negotiated contracts from $1 to over $100 million both stateside and internationally.  She was selected for an assignment to the White House Military Office in 2002.  She has 7 years of extensive experience working for defense contractors in the Aerospace Industry.  She holds a Top Secret security clearance and  has been a trusted agent of the U.S. Government for 30 years. As CEO of Dynamic Vision, she trains people how to think like a negotiator by creating win-win results and understanding pitfalls.  She is an international award winning speaker and an award winning author.

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DJ Healy headshotDaniel J. Healy
Manager
Centro Community Partner
Entrepreneur Readiness Program

Afternoon Breakout I, II: Business Planning

Daniel’s primary responsibilities include managing Centro’s entrepreneurship development programs and training entrepreneurs. Daniel has also been leading Centro’s efforts to innovate its educational content by designing interactive learning activities that develop entrepreneurs’ business competencies, analytical abilities and creative thinking skills. Daniel has more than eight years of experience in education and economic development. Before joining Centro, he worked as Peace Corps, Business English teacher, professional trainer, business advisor and social entrepreneur. He has a BA in International Affairs from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management.

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Archie Holton photoArchie Holton
Program Leader
Academies for Social Entrepreneurship (ASE)

Morning Breakout: Demystifying Entrepreneurship

Archie Holton is an entrepreneur, actor and executive coach. While running a successful plumbing business, he has also amassed over twenty years of experience as a transformative educator, working with thousands of people, giving them the tools they needed to create their dreams as realities. He has also created a number of record-breaking sales teams. Love (he is known as the “Love Coach”) and empowerment are keys to his unique style of training.

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Misa PhotoMisa Misono
Business Design Lead
IDEO

Afternoon Breakout I, II: Branding

Since joining IDEO, she has led work across industries, ranging from education to beauty to food. She is especially interested in prototyping, connecting the physical with digital, and helping brands grow.  Misa previously worked in brand management at Procter and Gamble. She was a digital leader within the company, helping Secret Deodorant to win marketing innovation awards and receive national media attention from publications including The New York Times, CNN, and AdAge. Prior to P&G, Misa ran her own fashion design business, where she created custom clothing, bags, and accessories. She also ran a research group and public relations for two major universities.  She holds an MBA from Duke University and bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Political Science from Boston University. In her free time, you might find Misa behind a sewing machine, working on her latest clothing project, or planning her next dive trip.

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Brandon Napoli photoBrandon Napoli
Director of Microlending
VEDC

Morning Breakout: Microlending

Brandon holds an MBA in Strategic Management and has over seven years of economic development experience. He founded the microfinance club at Point Loma Nazarene University and has taught financial literacy to refugees at the International Rescue Center in San Diego. His passion for microfinance led him from Kenya to the Microfinance Summit in Nova Scotia before joining the Peace Corps in Latin America. Brandon’s work is focused on empowering small and medium businesses by providing quality alternative lending options.

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Dr. Garnett Newcombe
President/CEO
Human Potential Consultants, LLC

Morning Breakout: Government Contracting

In 1997, Newcombe and Joyce Keener, established HPC as a unique resource to provide comprehensive employment solutions for federal, state and local governmental agencies. Services include support staffing and program management for individuals classified as having extraordinary challenges with re-entering the workforce. The company is one of only a handful that provides a wide range of diverse employment solution services. Newcombe has over 20 years of experience in community outreach, recruitment and working with individuals classified as having extraordinary challenges with re-entering the workforce such as persons with disabilities, veterans, dislocated workers and formerly incarcerated persons. Her expertise in research, program management and development; and, service delivery of various programs evolved while teaching as an Adjunct Professor at several Southern California Community Colleges and California State University, Dominguez Hills, for more than ten years.  Read her full bio.

SBA'14Mike Sabellico
Executive Director
Disabled Veterans Business Alliance

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Morning Breakout: Government Contracting (moderator)

 

Mike possesses over twenty-five years of diverse work experience in leading programs, managing multimillion dollar budgets and assets, and improving quality and processes.  Mike is a twenty year veteran of the US Coast Guard (USCG) with several Command Cadre tours.  During his time with the Coast Guard, Mike gained a significant amount of experience in Maritime and Emergency Response, ranging from Search and Rescue and Maritime counter smuggling efforts to hurricane and natural disaster response.  He has hands on executive experience from both a planning and actual operations perspective.  After leaving the Coast Guard, he managed a robust business development program for a San Diego based defense contractor with offices throughout the US.  He left that company in 2010 to launch Vanguard Global Solutions, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business specializing in Homeland Security, Emergency Preparedness, and specialized business consulting focusing on marketing, growth strategy, certifications, and sales. (Read Mike Sabellico’s full bio)

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Sandy-smlSandra Schneeberger
Founder
Sanberg Group, Inc

Morning Breakout: Government Contracting

Ms. Sandy Schneeberger retired from the United States Army Reserves in 2005, having served from 1984-2005 for over twenty one years, including four years in active duty status.  Her specialty training allowed her to work in several job positions in Administration, Training, Logistics, and Transportation serving first at the company level, promoted to battalion, brigade and retiring out of the Headquarters Regional Support Command G-1 at Los Alamitos.

Sandy started her business during her military career, and focused on growing an environmental consulting firm providing a variety of services including hazardous materials, geology/hydrogeology, and her specialty, cultural resources management.  She received a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from California State University, Fullerton. Once retired from the Army, Sandy grew her company as President and CEO of The Sanberg Group, Inc. to three locations, including Los Angeles, San Diego, and recently Henderson, Nevada.  The firm has projects throughout the California region, Arizona, Nevada, Maryland and Minnesota.  (read Ms. Schneeberger’s full bio)

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Lindsey Sin
Deputy Secretary, Women Veterans Affairs
California Department of Veterans Affairs

Special guest welcome

Lindsey Sin was appointed as Deputy Secretary for Women Veterans Affairs by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on November 22, 2011. Sin enlisted in the United States Navy in 1997 as a Cryptologic Technician Interpretive. She completed two flight tours in Rota, Spain during which time she deployed in support of Operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and achieved the rank of Petty Officer First Class.

Sin returned to her native Sacramento in 2005 after receiving an honorable discharge and immediately began her undergraduate studies in History. Upon her graduation from Sacramento State with a BA in History, Magna Cum Laude, in 2008, Sin became the Lead Certifying Official for veterans services at American River College. She continued her work with veterans at Sacramento State as the Veterans Benefit Advisor and Certifying Official, focusing on developing programs for student veterans.

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Veronica Soto
E-Contractor Academy
County of Los Angeles Public Works

Morning Breakout: Government Contracting (moderator)

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Jesse Torres
Regional Director, Los Angeles SBDC Lead Center
Chair, CA SBDC Leadership Council

Afternoon Breakout I: Financing for Growth

ACA Enrollment Starts November 15

The second year of Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges begins November 15th. That day will be the beginning of open enrollment allowing millions of Americans to sign up for health insurance for 2015. Californians can shop for 2015 insurance policies on Covered California.

Key dates:

  • November 15, 2014: Open Enrollment begins.
  • December 15, 2014: Deadline to enroll in health insurance plan for January 1 start date.
  • December 31, 2014: Coverage from ANY 2014 plan ends.
  • January 1, 2015: 2015 coverage begins for anyone enrolled prior to December 15, 2014.
  • February 15, 2015: Open Enrollment closes for 2015 coverage. Only those qualifying for ‘special enrollment’ will still be able to apply. Special enrollment requires one of the following events: marriage, birth/adoption, loss of coverage (including changing jobs). Medicaid/CHIP applicants, as well as any SHOP applicants, can enroll at any time throughout the year.

$$$: Penalties/Fees/Taxes

  • Beginning in 2014, Americans without health insurance are required to pay a penalty on the following years taxes. In 2014, the penalty was the greater of 1% of income or $95. This penalty should be paid on your 2014 tax return, most often filed in spring 2015.
  • In 2015, the penalty for not having coverage increase to 2% of income or $325, whichever is higher. This would be paid on your 2015 tax return, most often filed in spring 2016.
  • Tax Credit: Available to small businesses that purchase insurance through the SHOP exchange. This is retroactive (meaning you can claim if you paid for employee premiums).

More information on 2015 ACA  is available.