Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Support For H.R. 4302

On Monday a letter and email went out to all 53 California House representatives asking them to co author HR4302. This is the bill that will provide stimulus funding for 7a and 504 loans. The funding will be used to guarantee these loans up to 90% and waive the fees. It also will increase the size of these loans from $2 million to $5 million.

Yesterday I received an email indicating that Congresswoman Jackie Speier will be adding her name as coauthor. Thank you Congresswoman.

In Sacramento the JOBS Committee will be sending a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chair of Small Business Committee Nydia Velazquez asking them to support HR5302. Thank you Toni Symonds.

In San Francisco President of the Board David Chiu has drafted a letter to Nancy Pelosi asking for her support. We are working on getting Supervisors to sign on the bill. At this point we have President Chiu, Sean Elsbernd,Michela Pier Alioto and John Avalos. Thank you David, John,Sean and Michela. We expect others will be signing. For those of you in SF if you know a Supervisor that has not signed please contact them and ask them to do so.

If any of you on this email know a California House member please ask them to coauthor Hr4302. If I can provide you additional information please let me know.

See below a request by Andrew Zingale who is the Legislative Director for Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Lori Soldana. He is asking for small business input on a proposal to provide small business owners more time to pay late fees. He has sent a letter from a small business constituent outlining the issue.
Please let me know your thoughts

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

Mr. Hauge,

I don’t recall if we’ve had the opportunity to meet but I am the Legislative Director for Assembly Woman Lori Saldaña (San Diego), and follow your updates to the Small Business CA community on your distribution list.

We have been asked by a constituent and small business owner to look into a proposal (below) to allow more time to pay late penalties. I plan to discuss this with the Business & Professions Committee consultants here in the Assembly, but I’m also looking for feedback from Small Business associations such as SBC.

Any thoughts you may have would be welcomed as I vet this proposal. I appreciate your time.

Andrew Zingale
Legislative Director
Assembly Speaker Pro-Tem Lori Saldaña
Phone: (916) 319-2076
Fax: (916) 319-2176

-----Original Message-----

As we discussed the other night, my little company is hopefully going to return to some growth in 2010 – after what was clearly the hardest year I’ve ever experienced. Frankly, it has been tough to remain “in business” and receive payments from clients (or even keep contracts, given cutbacks in other companies).

There are, in fact, many weeks that a very small amount of money in the bank account ($50-$200, in many cases) has meant the difference between keeping the company alive, and either paying utilities, contractors, vendors, or just barely getting through to the next week.

There is at least one thing that maybe could be a general help to small businesses throughout California, and would reduce the burden the I will assume thousands of other companies may be suffering:

· Corporate/LCC Filing Penalties: First, while California’s Corporate and LLC “annual tax” is relatively high compared to most other States, those companies (like ours) that have decided to “play by the rules” and form ourselves in California have committed to the $800/year basic fee. However, those that are late with filing and payments (as we are currently) are also now subject not only to significant penalties (such as a $250 penalty for our C-corp for not filing certain documents on time), but also (at least for our LLCs) to a Monthly Penalty for paying late (in this case it appears to be $48/month, plus interest). I would suggest that – beyond my personal example – there are likely thousands of other small companies that have barely survived that are only being driven further into debt and being put at further legal risks (such as tax liens, etc.) for not having the cash on hand to immediately catch up and pay these past-due amounts. Again, I think it’s reasonable for companies to pay the basic costs, but charging excessive monthly penalties and interest during these economic times only makes it harder for smaller companies to stay in business (in my opinion). Having a moratorium on additional penalties, or giving us an additional amount of time (120 days? 180 days? Not sure where to draw the line) to pay the basic fees would be one less problem for small companies to worry about (given the other challenges we face trying to regain strength)…

Just my opinion. Thank you very much for considering this suggestion. There are others that I’m sure I can come up with related to small business contracting and the high cost for LLCs (particularly when, for various reasons, one might need to have multiple LLCs), but I’ll leave that for later.

-Kenn Morris
1603 Felton Street
San Diego, CA 92102

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