Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In previous emails I have talked about the sales tax inequity for contractors bidding on jobs where a large manufacture/ contractor also compete for work.
This inequity not only hurts small business but cost the state close to $1 billion.
Yesterday we met with Betty Yee the Chair of the Board of Equalization and she confirmed this can only be fixed by legislation.
We then went across the street to the Capitol and met with Daryl Steinberg’s budget person and briefly with the Senator. We are hoping that the Senator will send a letter of inquiry to the Board of Equalization on this issue.

As I have told you one of the benefits SB Cal provides its members is that if you send us something you would like the government to take action on or have a question of government we will send your letter to our contacts in state government if we agree your issue.
The first request we had was from Skip Brown from Delta Construction who sent us on August 4 his letter to the governor. He has been working on this issue for 20 years with no success. Yesterday he was in the conversation with Betty Yee and Senator Steinberg.
I don’t think any business organization provides this kind of service to its members.
Also if you are meeting with government people and they ask how the state can get more revenue in these difficult economic times cite this example.

It is going to be a busy week for SB Cal. Today we are meeting with Speaker Pelosi’s office on Healthy Families. On Monday we will be meeting with Assemblywoman Jackie Speier and presenting the small business agenda and the concerns we have on the health debate. A week from today I will be part of a program at the SF Chamber speaking further on the health issue. Attending the event will be Speaker Pelosi and Mayor Gavin Newsom.
We are out there constantly getting the voice of small business heard.

Scott Hauge
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Health Insurance Cooperatives/ Small Business California Fundraiser

The new buzz words in the health debate is Health Insurance Cooperatives. It appears that a public health plan is facing serious political problems and President Obama seems to be backing away from requiring a public health plan to be part of any major health reform.
What is a Cooperative- A health insurance cooperative is a member owned nonprofit group. It would provide its members with health insurance options. Cooperatives could be formed at a National, State or local level.
Senator Kent Conrad has proposed this to compete with private insurers.
Broadly Senator Conrad’s plan would create a system in which government would offer seed money[$6 billion] to doctors, businesses and hospitals to form cooperatives. Eventually these coops would become self supporting. A temporary government board would help set up the coop which Conrad has suggested might be a national entity with state-level affiliates.
What do you think about? Is it good or bad for small business.
I get a lot of calls from the media on the health issue and I want to put together a list of small business owners around the state that will speak to this issue. Please let me know if you are interested. Be sure to include contact information and location

On Thursday Small Business California will be doing a fund raiser recognizing 25 years of small business leaders in SF. I have mentioned this before but it is really coming together with about 80 small business leaders attending. I believe SF is the only place in the country that has a Small Business Commission pat by the voters.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the sales tax inequity for one of our member. I said as a benefit to our members we will use Small Business California contacts in state government and with associations to get their issue addressed. I heard a couple of days ago that Betty Yee head of the Board of Equalization will be contacting me in the next couple of weeks to discuss this issue.
We have also garnered letters of support from the SF Chamber and the SF Chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association. I also want to recognize Barbara Kaufman who represents the governor in the Bay Area for delivering the letter to Betty Yee. I would appreciate your thanking her. You can just hi the reply all as her email is above.
We believe this could increase revenues to the state in the area of $1 billion and close an inequity for small business.
We are also in contact with the LA Times on this issue.. If you want a copy of the letter we have sent on this issue please contact me. When the governor and legislators or any government people ask you where they can get more revenues you can cite this.
Also this is a great example of what Small Business California can do for its members.

Scott Hauge
Small Business Califortnia

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Small Business Tax Inequity/ Scam on California Businesses

A few weeks ago I indicated that Small Business California was offering a new benefit to our members that being where appropriate sending their concerns and comments to state lawmakers. One of our new members took advantage of this and sent me a letter to the Governor requesting that he look into a tax inequity whereby large material suppliers/contractor pay a different tax on projects to the state than small construction contractors like his. On one job alone where he was the successful bidder his taxes on the project was $21525 and the taxes on the same project by a large material supplier/ contactor was $10700.
It is estimated that if this loophole was closed the state would save hundreds of millions of dollars and small businesses like his would have a level playing field
Small Business California sent a copy of the letter to two representatives of the Governor, Senator Steinberg’s office and Speaker Bass’s office. Barbara Kaufman in the Governor’s office in SF hand delivered the letter to Betty Yee the Chairwoman of the State Board of Equalization.
We of course are going to pursue this. While we may not be as successful with other letters we receive we offer to our members this benefit. If you are not a member please consider joining You can do so by going to our website at
.The author of the letter Skip Brown of Delta Construction has authorized us to send this letter to others so if you would like a copy please let me know

See below information sent by Senator Benoit about a scam on California small businesses

Benoit Special Alert: New Scam Targeting California Businesses
Example Of A Scam Letter Sent
I have just become aware of a new scam directed at corporations and limited liability companies in California. This scheme, which has also been reported in Nebraska and Colorado, purports that certain documents must be filed with the Secretary of State’s office and only through the third party sending the solicitation.
I sought verification of this new pattern of criminal activity and found that, just last Friday, the Attorney General won a $1.2 million ruling against these rip-off artists – this is a massive scam that everybody should keep an eye out for.
The rip-off revolves around a deceptive letter sent by that third party, encouraging these businesses to comply with their California Corporations Code filing obligations by submitting substantial fees and documents to that third party.
The letter is often characterized by the following:
· Appears similar to a Secretary of State form (generally the Statement of Information form), containing an official-looking seal
· Implies that failing to return the form and pay the requested fee may place the business in legal jeopardy, or might cause the business’ filings with the California Secretary of State to be in default or noncompliant status
· Contains a reference to a “file number,” “Corp Number,” “Corporation Number,” or “Control Number” that does not match the number assigned to the entity by the California Secretary of State
· References or quotes Corporations Code sections inapplicable to the type of entity being solicited, such as Code sections applicable to corporations when soliciting a limited liability company
· References an “annual fee” or “annual payment” rather than a filing fee and that is far in excess of the filing fee for a Statement of Information
· Indicates the submitted information will be treated as private and confidential
Businesses are working around the clock to keep customers satisfied and their doors open. With intimidating official-looking letters, it’s not hard to see why many businesses have fallen prey to this type of ruse.

Here is some official information for any business receiving one of these letters: Statement of Information forms and instructions are available through the Secretary of State’s website here, and the fee required to file the statement is $25 for California stock and foreign corporations, and $20 for California nonprofit corporations and all limited liability companies.
If you receive one of these suspicious solicitations, you are encouraged to contact the Attorney General at the California Department of Justice, Public Inquiry Unit, P.O. Box 944255 (Sacramento 94244) or through the website here. You can also reach the Public Inquiry Unit, toll-free, at (800) 952-5225 or (916) 322-3360.
In this time of economic despair, it’s essential to be vigilant against the latest efforts of swindlers to make a quick dishonest buck. I hope this information will help avoid creating additional victims of this scam.
JOHN J. BENOITSenator, 37th Senate District
Capitol Office:State Capitol, Room 4066Sacramento, CA 95814Phone: (916) 651-4037Fax: (916) 327-2187
Riverside Office: 5225 Canyon Crest Dr., Ste 360Riverside, CA 92507Phone: (951) 680-6750Fax: (951) 680-6757
Palm Desert Office: 73-710 Fred Waring Dr., Ste 108Palm Desert, CA 92260Phone: (760) 568-0408Fax: (760) 568-1501

Scott Hauge
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Launch of Small Business Outreach on AB 32

Small Business California has been asked to sign onto the Business Alliance for a Green Economy. My first reaction when I saw the word Green in the title was that this was an environmental group who really doesn’t care about small business.. I have however looked into the goals of this organization and talked extensively with Susan and find that this really is a business group and in fact at one point Susan worked for a Chamber of Commerce.
While I might have hoped for a more neutral name that would have provided a broader umbrella for all of us, I am convinced it’s in our interest to make our voices known in this critical debate. I urge you to check out the website and statement of principles.
I will be the first to say that AB 32 is not perfect and Small Business California will speak out as it gets implemented putting forth the small business perspective. We have already done this as Hank Ryan and I have served on the committee formed to implement AB32.
Small Business California will be signing onto this and I hope you will consider doing so also. Please note that the Green Business Alliance is linked to the Green Chamber of Commerce and you can click on through the link Support California’s Clean Energy & Climate Security Plan below.
I am in close contact with Susan and I encourage you to contact her if you have any questions. I have copied this email to Susan and her phone number is 650-400-0423. Please let me know your thoughts on this.
Scott Hauge
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116

Support California’s Clean Energy & Climate Security Plan
We all know that climate change is real and its impacts are being felt now. The good news is that solutions to climate change will keep more money in our local economy and drive economic growth.

-By cutting back on energy use, businesses will save hundreds of dollars annually on energy bills. -By driving more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, Californians will save billions at the pump.
-By reducing air pollution and greening our workplaces, businesses will experience increased worker productivity and fewer employee sick days.
-By diversifying our energy supplies and improving energy efficiency, the state’s economy will be protected from the volatility of fossil fuel markets.
-And by shifting to a clean energy economy, more than 100,000 jobs will be added over the next decade.

Shouldn’t all California businesses support this clean energy vision? Yes, but unfortunately oil companies and dirty industries that are the biggest sources of carbon pollution are more concerned with protecting the status quo than with looking out for what is best for California’s small businesses. That’s why we need your help! The Business Alliance for a Green Economy is reaching out to businesses across the state to build support a clean energy future in California.

If you are a California business owner/operator, please sign the Statement of Principles today. Learn the Facts about California’s clean energy & climate security plan and its impact on business. Join the growing chorus of businesses who support the state’s climate plan!

Questions? Email Susan Frank at