Summer Recess

Dear Friend,

Big congratulations to start off this week’s Must Know. The CDFI announced their awards for FY2011. Four CAMEO members received a total of $3,300,000. Congrats to: ACCION San Diego ($600,000), Fresno CDFI ($600,000), Opportunity Fund ($1,500,000), and TMC Working Solutions ($600,000). California received $13,523,814, just shy of 10% of the total money awarded.

In the week’s Must Know:

  • District Meetings – Building relationships with your legislators
  • CAMEO’s Annual Survey
  • The Goodies: information on important opportunities like trainings, funding, scholarship programs. Today’s highlight is to vote for CAMEO in the Small Business Influencer Awards.

District Meetings

“Nothing impresses elected officials as much as citizens willing to make a personal visit. Individuals or groups who make the effort to speak their mind – in person – are worth platoons of lobbyists. That there are people in the district willing to take the time to present their views in person is a very powerful message.” – Audobon Activist Newsletter

Personal visits are highly effective ways of helping legislators understand your position or program. Legislators welcome visits from constituents. They want you involved, even though they are busy people. Arranging these meetings is relatively easy and the meetings themselves are inexpensive and convenient.

Guess what? Now is a great time to meet with state and federal electeds. California legislators are on recess until August 15 and then again after September 10. Congresspeople are on summer break from August 8 until Labor Day. It’s especially important to visit new members of the California legislature.

To help you with your efforts, I’ve prepared a District Meeting How-To webinar (cost to register=free!) that will walk you through logistics of setting up the meeting, how to prepare and what to do afterwards. It will be on August 4, 2011. We’re still working out the time and I’ll send out an invite. In the meanwhile, start calling your legislators. Call the district offices and ask for the scheduler. Be persistent, as it might take a few tries to to make an appointment.

Other resources you will find useful:

Please let us know if you schedule a visit and what the outcome is. Email me!

Annual Survey

CAMEO Annual Survey: It’s up to all of us to ensure that everyone knows about the good work we are doing so that we can keep on doing it and do it at a much larger scale. So if you lead an organization, please complete the CAMEO Annual Survey. (If you don’t head an organization, forward this request to the right person. Thanks!) While you’re at it, fill out the 2011 U.S. Microenterprise Census.

The Goodies - trainings, conference information, funding, scholarships, etc.

Comment on CDFI Bond Guarantee Program: The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) is soliciting comments regarding the design, implementation and administration of the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. The CDFI Fund is particularly interested in comments in the following areas: definitions of statutory terms and program parameters, eligible use of funds, eligible entities and required qualifications, underwriting criteria and guarantee provisions, accountability and compliance measures. Comments and questions should be sent to Martin Feeney. Comments are due August 1, 2011.

Vote for CAMEO: Small Business Trends is sponsoring the Small Business Influencer initiative, which honors contributors who have made a significant impact on the North American small business market. CAMEO is nominated in two categories. Vote for CAMEO in the organization/corporate category and vote for Claudia in the leader category! If CAMEO wins, Micro Enterprise in California wins. You can vote every 24 hours for as many nominees as you like. But you can only vote for the SAME nominee once in any given 24-hour period. So bookmark the link!

For your clients: AEO is collecting stories of your clients’ businesses and their impact on their community to show the power of Micro. Clients will be highlighted on the AEO website and in our annual AEO500 report and be able to connect and collaborate with other businesses.

For your clients: The Wall Street Journal is hosting a competition for U.S. small business who took a hit when the economy nosedived – but found a creative way to survive and thrive.

For your clients: Small Business Trends has a list of contests and awards available to small businesses.

CAMEO Resources: CAMEO has a Facebook page. Please ‘like’ us! Suggest us to your friends. Post comments on the links. On our website, you can access the resources distributed and discussed at the annual meeting and share with your colleagues!

About Heidi Pickman

Heidi Pickman is the Communications Director for CAMEO.