Loan Policy Manual & Webinar; SmallBiz Tax Reform; Data Collection!

  • New Tool for Microlenders: Loan Policy Manual
  • HR 3717: The Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act of 2017
  • And…Action! – Support Collection of Lending Data
  • Join us for MicroLending Essentials on November 7-9, 2017 in Los Angeles. Sign up before September 30 to take advantage of the early bird rate.
  • Please send nominations and referrals for CAMEO CEO to CAMEO@walkeraac.com. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, résumé and three references by October 2, 2017.
  • The Goodies – This week’s highlight is Microloan Underwriting on Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:00-11:15am PT. This Aspen Institute webinar will explore the classic “5 Cs” of small business credit analysis through the lens of microlending.

    New Tool for Microlenders: Loan Policy Manual

    Learn about our Loan Policy Manual on a free webinar on September 25, 2017 at 3:00pm PT.

    CAMEO is committed to building scale, capacity and professionalism among its lending network. The high-volume, successful lenders in our network have clear lending strategies based on their mission and financial acumen. They have created solid manuals and policies that are consistent with their strategy and lending expertise. They have taken the time to write down their over-arching goals with the detailed tasks needed to run a professional lending program. All have the end goal to grow their volume, increase their capital base and maintain solid portfolio performance.

    Without a complete loan manual an organization will not reach its full growth and performance potential. But where to begin? Susan Brown, our microlending expert, created Phase I of a Community Loan Policy Manual Workbook to assist community lenders to create fully developed loan policies manual. Lenders of every stripe that address each topic and answer all the questions will have a complete loan manual that reflects a comprehensive approach to the details of running a high-quality program.

    Join Susan for a webinar on Monday, September 25, 2017 at 3:00 PM PDT to take a look at the manual and how to take advantage of this great resource!

    HR 3717: The Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act of 2017

    Last Friday, the House Small Business Committee Chair Steve Chabot (R-OH) introduced the “Small Business Owners’ Tax Simplification Act” (H.R. 3717) in order to clarify the tax code and allow small business owners to participate in cafeteria plans. The bill was co-sponsored by Ranking Member Nydia Velazquez (D-NY).

    CAMEO is interested in hearing your thoughts on the bill. Please email us!

    This bill will help level the playing field for small businesses and provide simplification and clarity for entrepreneurs and startups as they face the complexity and uncertainty of the tax code. The text of the bill refers to other codes, so we’ve summarized the bill, which does the following:

    • Aligns quarterly reporting deadlines with actual quarter ends
    • Aligns income tax filing thresholds for consistency (1099-MISC, 1099k, etc.)
    • Updates electronic signature requirements
    • Outlines anti-fraud measures by requiring pre-notification testing of recipient information before direct deposits can be refunded
    • Allows small business owners to both offer and participate in Cafeteria Plans (HSAs, dental plans, etc.) Current IRS interpretation prevents small business owners from participating
    • Excludes self-employment income from Social Security Quarters Coverage
    • Excludes loan forgiveness from being counted toward income for entrepreneurs who work in high-need and distressed areas
    • Allows voluntary withholding agreements (withholding a certain amount from an employee’s payroll check) without impacting a worker’s classification status
    • Allows voluntary training services (safety courses, tax compliance courses, etc.) to be offered to contractors without impacting a worker’s classification status

    And…Action! – Support Collection of Lending Data

    Do you believe qualified small women-and minority-owned businesses deserve fair and equal access to small business loans? Then now is the time to weigh in and support Section 1071 and better data on lending to small businesses.

    The banking industry wants to remove Section 1071 of Dodd-Frank that requires banks to both compile, maintain and report their small business lending data to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Currently there is no comprehensive data on small business lending. Without Section 1071 there will be no way of knowing whether or not ALL small businesses, including those that are women and minority-owned, have equal access to small business loans.

    Let the CFPB know that you want to preserve Section 1071. Copy and paste this sample message into the comment box.

    The small business sector is critical to the nation’s job creation, economic growth and continued recovery, yet lawmakers, regulators and far too many communities lack basic information about the credit needs of small businesses and their ability to obtain credit. Several studies have documented the challenges small businesses, particularly those that are women-owned and minority-owned, face in accessing credit, including receiving lower dollar amounts for loans, higher denial rates, and having to pay higher rates and fees. [Feel free to insert specific comments regarding experiences you’ve had when attempting to gain access to capital and credit for your clients’ business here.] The final rule must be a strong rule that captures most of the lending in the market, information about products and pricing, as well as information on loan applications and denials. This is necessary to understand and address the disparities in lending and to promote economic growth throughout the entire country. [Include a brief description of your organization/business.]

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    Other actions:

    ***If you have a credit report, you could be one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies. If you have borrowers, remind them that the breach happened to Equifax, and not to your organization. What to do:

    • Make sure your organization has appropriate data security precautions in place to secure your client’s data
    • Read the FTC’s recent blog post – “The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do
    • If you suspect fraud connected to a natural disaster, you can call the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866-720-5721, or email the organization.
    • Remind your clients about the importance of reviewing their credit report regularly – whether at annualcreditreport.com at least one time per year and/or through any credit report analysis you offer as part of your services – to ensure that the data is as accurate as possible.

    ***The SBA is seeking input from the public on identifying which of the Agency’s regulations should be repealed, replaced or modified because they are obsolete, unnecessary, ineffective, or burdensome. This process of evaluating and identifying such regulations comports with the mandate in various Executive Orders to reduce the number and costs of the regulations that federal agencies impose on the public. Post your comment before October 16, 2017.

    ***Join Main Street Alliance’s Hate Has No Biz Here campaign. They started it in response to the President’s proposed travel ban on Muslims, but the campaign has taken on new relevance and immediacy in light of current events. Download their graphics and let your clients know about the campaign.

    The Goodies

    New opportunities for training, conference information, funding, scholarships, and other information that have crossed our desks since the last Must Know. I have posted a running tab of current Industry Goodies on the CAMEO website that lists items that were in past emails. Check it out to make sure you’re not missing anything, like grants whose deadlines are still alive!

    Donate for Dreamers: Opening Doors assist Dreamers with legal consultation and preparation of their applications. Many current DACA individuals living in our community are racing to apply for two-year renewals before October 5. Unless they do so, they will be unable to work and face possible deportation. You can help by donating to help their clients pay the filing fees of $495. Make sure to write “DACA” under ‘Designation.’

    Donate for Hurricane Relief: Opportunity Finance Network is creating the Harvey CDFI Staff Relief Fund to specifically benefit OFN Member staff directly impacted by the hurricane.

    New Report: Prosperity Now and the Institute for Policy Studies look at the racial wealth divide at the median over the next four and eight years in The Road to Zero Wealth. They find that if you examine median wealth trends over the past three decades, the racial wealth divide will only continue to grow—into perpetuity—and it will do so at an accelerated rate.

    Member Kudos: Congrats to MEDA and PACE who received PRIME Awards!

    Member Kudos: Congrats to Prospera who is expanding to San Jose through a partnership with SOMOS Fuertes, a program of SOMOS Mayfair!

    For Your Client: This is the chance for your clients to voice what are their top priorities, what issues they face as a small business owner, and what changes they want to see in California? Have them take the 2017 California Small Business Survey!

    For Your Clients: Small Business Majority has several free webinars on access to capital and retirement: “Access to Capital 101: Funding Options to Start and Grow Your Business” is on September 20, October 4, and October 18 at 11:00 AM PDT // 2:00 PM EDT and “Money Now, Money Later: The ABCs of Financing Your Small Business and Building Your Retirement” is on September 26, October 10, and October 24 at 11:00 AM PST // 2:00 PM EDT.

    Free Webinar: The Aspen Institute hosts Microloan Underwriting on Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:00-11:15am PT // 1:00-2:15pm ET. This webinar will explore the classic “5 Cs” of small business credit analysis through the lens of microlending.

    Professional Conference: Register for the OFN Conference in Washington, DC on September 26-28, 2017.

    Professional Development: The Nonprofit Tech Roundup is in Portland this fall, October 3-4. At the two-day conference, you’ll get the inspiration and practical tips you need on topics like websites and accessibility, data visualization, project management, email campaigns, and more.

    Save the Date: OFN will hold the 2017 Western Regional Meeting Wednesday, November 1 in San Francisco at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

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