California Policy

CAMEO California Legislative Priorities for Microbusiness

Historic Truth-in-Lending Law for Small Businesses Passed!

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 late Sunday night. 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.

Two bills signed by the governor

Governor Brown signed two bills that will help California micro-entrepreneurs!

AB 626 will allow the sale of meals prepared in home kitchens. For time eternal, one way many families earned extra money was by cooking and selling meals from their home kitchen. Enter a more complicated economy and this became problematic mainly because of health concerns. According to the C.O.O.K. Alliance under this bill, “microenterprise home kitchens will be allowed to sell up to $50,000 per year – these new operations are intended for incubators or ancillary income, not a substitute for commercial-scale operations.” They estimate start-up costs just shy of $900.

Under SB 946 sidewalk vending will no longer be criminalized anywhere in California. According to our friends in LA that worked on the bill – Public Counsel, LURN – “vendors with pending citations and prior convictions will have an opportunity to clear their record, and vendors will now have a path to legal vending. This means that tens of thousands of low-income entrepreneurs, workers, immigrants, and their families will be better protected from the harms of criminalization and will have better access to economic opportunity.”

We agree with our friends at Small Business Majority who said

We support any legislation that would help entrepreneurs thrive, and AB 626 [and SB 926] will do just that. We’re glad California recognized the part [these laws] will play in bolstering small business activity.

California Budget – $23 million for Small Business Development!

We did it! After years of knocking on the doors of California legislators, California is poised to invest $23 million in small business development.

Other Priorities

  • AB-184 (E. Garcia) Small Business Technical Assistance Act of 2015 will establish GoBiz’s Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank as the state liaison with the ‘federal business technical assistance centers’, which include SBDCs, WBCs, VBOCs, SCORE and PTACs. The bill would recognize these federal programs and authorize any state agency to contract with them! The bill would also make it possibly for the California legislature to make appropriations for the centers. Note that appropriations is not the subject of this bill. AB 184 Fact Sheet.
  • Maintain and reinforce legislative support for programs and services that impact micro-business development organizations, self-employment programs under the California Economic Development Department and within the Workforce system.
  • Facilitate partnerships with the California Senate Office of Research to collect information necessary to demonstrate the impact of micro-business development on the California economy.
  • Facilitate relationships with state agencies and departments such as California Department of Housing and Community Development to ensure that CDBG funding is administered so that it serves the needs of the micro-business development field and that Micro Enterprise is recognized as an integral part of local economic development in California.

California Legislative Resources

Read an overview of the California legislative process.

Find out which state agencies fund micro-business development.

Read the 2010 SOR Analysis of Self-Employment in California.

CFED released a report – With a Stroke of a Pen: Two Dozen Low-cost, Politically Viable State Policy Ideas to Increase Financial Security and Opportunity in Tough Fiscal Times, which presents 24 low-cost, politically-viable policy ideas to increase financial security and opportunity in fiscal times. Supporting Micro-business development is one of those ideas.