Small Business California had a good year in 2009. I apologize for the length of this email but we accomplished a lot in 2009.This is the short version and for a more complete list go to www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org. It will be on our website Friday.
For those of you that are not members of Small Business California I hope you will consider joining. You can do so by going to our website.
For all of you that are members thank you and I hope you feel your money has been well spent. If you have ideas on how we can do more to promote the interest of small businesses in California please let me know.
I want to especially thank our affiliate members the California Association of Competitive Telecommunications Companies and the Plumbing Heating Contractors and Cooling Contractors of California.
I would also like to thank Jim Baird from Bay Area Development Company for his strong support.
I hope you all agree that SB Cal is out front fighting the battles for California small businesses.
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116
2009 Small Business California Accomplishments
• Completed our fifth annual survey of California small business issues. There were over 600 responses and every county in California was represented in the survey.
• Small Business California testified May 2009 before the House Small Business Committee.
• Represented small business interest in the National Health debate. Small Business California represents small business on the Board of the Pacific Business Group on Health.
• Added the Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractors of California as an affiliate member of Small Business California.
• Represented small business on the task force at the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau dealing with calculations of experience modifications.
• Strongly opposed the sale of State Fund which would dramatically have impacted the rates of small business State Fund policy holders.
• Provided strong support to the development of Clinic By The Bay in San Francisco. This is a Volunteers in Medicine Clinic which nationally has 74 clinics in 24 states.
• In August sponsored a fundraiser recognizing San Francisco small business leaders and their accomplishments, over a quarter of a century.
• Supported interim funding of SBA 7a and 504 loans. Put in place coalition of 34 associations for funding until end of fiscal year. Worked closely with NAGGL (7a) and NADCO (504) (S 2869 and H.R. 4302).
• Received the environmental Business of the Year award from the Pacific Conservation League
• Sponsored Senate Bill 313 that will increase employer compliance in securing the purchase of a workers’ compensation policy and will ultimately lower employer assessments for law-abiding employers who are competing with the underground economy.
• Supported and testified in favor of Assembly Bill 483 (Buchanan) to require the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau to establish and maintain a free, public web site to allow individuals to obtain workers’ compensation coverage information about a specific employer.
• SB-Cal sent several letters to and met with the members of the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees and their staff to keep intact the Net Operating Loss Carry Over Tax ability for small businesses, along with a request to retain the funding for the Health Families Program. Both programs were left either intact or their funding preserved.
• Opposed AB 1139 (Perez) as it would have increased income taxes on those small businesses operating in the state’s enterprise zones.
• Asked Senator Leno to send an inquiry to the BOE to verify and outline the inconsistency of the application of the Government and Tax Codes on small business construction contractors who are being taxed twice as compared to their big business counterparts when bidding for public and private construction projects.
• Secured the development of a Return-to-Work Guidebook that will provide information to employers about the new laws pertaining to FEHA and ADA compliance.
• Hank Ryan has been providing testimony and working with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the agency having jurisdiction over the development and implementation of AB 32 regulations, to develop its Scoping Plan that will serve as the road map outlining the phases of each new regulation.
• Small Business California has advocated for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, supporting the interests of independently owned technology companies against competition from large firms seeking to push small business out of the $2 billion a year Federal program. The debate included battles over the changes to the SBA definition of a small business.
• Helped to secure the support of Senators Feinstein and Boxer to secure passage of Senate bill S. 1233. The Senate Bill preserves the spirit of the original SBIR program while SB-California is working with the Speaker’s Office on House bill H.R. 5819 which contains most of the changes that will negatively impact small business.
• Small Business California-sponsored AB 615 is on the two-year track in order to thoroughly develop the expansion of the otherwise very short and unclear definition of existing law “first aid” injuries in the Labor Code when compared to the very specific 14-point list of non-first aid injuries included in Cal-OSHA’s definition.
• Small Business California’s-sponsored AB 801 two-year bill. This bill was made a two-year bill so that the California Department of Insurance could work with labor in securing their sign off in allowing the Department of Insurance to join the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation and the Division of Workers’ Compensation in accessing and retrieving claims information from the Workers’ Compensation Information System for CDI’s fraud detection purposes.
• At Senator Mark Leno’s request, Small Business California has been meeting with the Senator and his staff to provide recommendations to improve the state’s business climate for small employers on the following issues:
o Water Company de-coupling to mitigate lost sales through water efficiency programs. This issue could potentially open the door for On Bill Financing programs for water users.
o Issues affecting small business agriculture are recommended to encourage methane to energy opportunities, i.e. incentives for no till farming and other initiatives.
o Incentives for increased usage of wireless sensors/internet dashboards to monitor small business equipment usage - important to facilitate smart meters for valid energy efficiency savings.
o All investor owned utilities are now addressing On Bill Financing and are or will be offering financing directly to their customers. Only one publicly owned utility (Palo Alto) is in the process of developing OBF. Legislation that would address remaining barriers would be important to help deliver On Bill Financing to customers of the other POUs.
2009 Small Business California Energy Policy Achievements
EPA Grant Milestones
• Engage with CA Green Business Programs to increase support
• Develop guidelines and templates for NSBA Green Business Council
• Organize and distribute utility energy efficiency displays at northern CA Dept of Alcohol Beverage Control offices
• Provide support for Palo Alto municipal utility On Bill Financing program development
• Advocate at the CPUC for revolving fund use of stimulus funds to support energy efficiency financing
• Continue support work with SDG&E for ongoing On Bill Financing program
• Provide briefing about On Bill Financing for U.S. Senate Small Business Committee staff
Energy Foundation Grant Milestones
• Develop and execute the “C of C Green Sheet” for distribution to CA Chambers
• Visit and meet with California Chamber officials at over 40 offices in central valley and southern California
Bay Air Quality Management District Grant
• Create vehicle use profiles for 4 Bay Area businesses
• Work with Ecology Action to create design for employer supported alternative vehicle financing
• Publish Op Ed articles in SF Examiner and NSBA Advocate featuring electric vehicles for businesses
Transportation Alternative Financing
Establish a waiver of the tax on the (effectively) 0% loan for purchasing alternative fuel vehicle and would enable an internal loan from employer to employee in order to generate tax revenues. The value of building out this opportunity for the broadest range of employers to offer would maximize the incentive levels available for low to zero emissions vehicle programs to help bridge the gap of the expected higher costs for BEV (Electric Hybrid Vehicle) and PHEV (Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle)