Wednesday, May 25, 2011

SBIR/ Governor

A few days ago I wrote to you about a continuing resolution of the Small Business Innovative Research program and the Small Business Transfer program [SB 990]. I know this doesn't have an impact on most of you but to those receiving funds from these programs it is extremely important.

I would like to give you an update as I think you will find it fascinating how Washington works.

Last email I said the House was going to amend the 990 from a one year authorization to a four month authorization. This passed on a voice vote. It then went back to the Senate where there was some discussion of making it a one month authorization.

While this was going on there was the issue of the Patriot Act, which as I understand it, needed to be passed by the end of the month. So 990 got stripped of the language with the Continuing Resolution and became the Patriot Act. We are now down to one week with no vehicle at this point to do a Continuing Resolution.

If this sounds familiar an SBIR bill introduced last year got stripped and became the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell bill which was signed by the President

You can’t make this stuff up.

Jerry Brown has been in office almost 4 months. I am curious how the small business community of California feels about the job he is doing. What are your thoughts.

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

Monday, May 23, 2011

FW: S164 Withholding on Government contracts/ SBIR Continuing Resolution

Senator Scott Brown has introduced the Withholding Tax Relief Act of 2011. This will repeal Section 511 of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 which mandates that federal, state and local governments withhold 3% from payments for goods and services.

This tax withholding requirement affects all government contracts as well as payment to any person for a good or product provided to a government entity. As I mentioned in a prior email this will take effect December 21,2012.

Withholding of 3% has no relationship to a company’s taxable income and is in effect a loan to the government hurting small businesses cash flow.

Interestingly enough the cost of implementing the law will exceed the revenues anticipated according to a study released by the Department of Defense. According to DOD it will cost $17 billion over 5 years. The Joint Committee on Taxation now estimates the revenue generated is $7 billion over 5 years with only $1.1 billion in additional revenue and remainder due to the float.

Small Business California asks Senators Feinstein and Boxer to support this bill. We ask people receiving this email to contact the Senators office to ask them to support this.

You can do so by emailing Brian McKeon at and TC Ostrander at

It is expected that Tuesday the House will be taking up a Continuing Resolution for funding of SBIR/Sttr/Cpp programs. S990 passed in the Senate on a voice vote last week.

Funding for the program runs out the end of this month and the Senate bill would continue funding for a year.

In my conversations with Kevin Wheeler in the Senate Small Business Committee and Lori Pepper from Congresswoman Pelosi’s office ‘it appears this will be amended by House Republicans to three or four months instead of a year.

This is a great program not just for small business but for the country and should have had full authorization years ago but it has been tied up by politics and not just Republicans but Nydia Velazquez when she was Chair of the House Small Business Committee.

California small businesses receive more of these contracts than any other state.

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

Monday, May 16, 2011

May Budget Revise/ AB 153 Internet Tax

Governor Brown unveiled his May revised budget.

Please see below highlights. Note that Enterprise Zones will be continued but only for new jobs created.

The projected revenues are up $6.6 billion leaving a deficit of $9.6 billion and as the budget requires $1.2 reserve the money needed for the budget is $10.8 billion.

Redevelopment continues to be eliminated See below.

Small Business California supports Nancy Skinners ab 153 which would require out of state Internet companies to collect the sales tax. In conversation with Liz Mooney this morning in Ms. Skinner's office she advises that this is still on suspense and it is expected it will come out of suspense the end of May.

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


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Governor's Press Office

Monday, May 16, 2011 (916) 445-4571

Governor Brown Unveils Revised Budget

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. today unveiled a revised state budget that reduces by nearly $3 billion the amount of taxes needed to balance the budget, spurs job creation through new tax incentives and pays off most of the $34.7 billion debt built up over the last decade.

“California’s economy is growing, but we still face a $10 billion structural deficit and a wall of debt for years to come,” said Brown. “California’s finances were plunged into turmoil by the Great Recession and a decade of short-term fixes and fiscal gimmicks. This is not the time to delay or evade. This is the time to put our finances in order.”

The revised budget also downsizes state government and protects education and public safety. Since taking office in January, Brown and the legislature have cut spending by $9 billion and have taken other steps to reduce the deficit.

Key Highlights of Governor Brown’s May Revision Budget

Reduce the amount of taxes required to balance the budget. Californians will pay $2 billion less in income taxes this year than proposed in the January budget.

Increase spending on K-12 education. For years, the state has shortchanged public education in order to balance the budget, forcing school districts to borrow in order to balance their budgets. The revised budget increases funds for public schools by $3 billion. Even with this new infusion of funds, California schools are still owed billions by the state.

Spur job creation through tax incentives. The revised budget restricts Enterprise Zone credits to create new jobs only; spurs investments in California jobs through mandatory single sales; encourages manufacturing jobs through reduced sales tax on equipment purchases; and revamps a hiring tax credit to encourage additional job creation.

Create a long-term strategy to address California’s Wall of Debt. California has accrued $35 billion in budgetary debt by borrowing from future generations. The May Revision lays out a plan to pay off at least $29 billion in looming state debt by 2015.

Cut state government. The revised budget eliminates 43 boards, commissions, task forces, offices and departments that represent an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars. As services are returned to the local level, the Departments of Mental Health and Alcohol and Drug Programs will be eliminated. The revised budget also proposes to merge the Healthy Families Program into the Medi-Cal program, reducing costs and creating a single health care program for low income families

Improve debt management. More than $11 billion in cash from bond sales is sitting in department accounts, where it costs taxpayers more than $700 million a year in debt service for projects that have yet to be completed, creating an unacceptable burden on taxpayers. The revised budget proposes expediting projects, moving cash out of accounts and into projects that create jobs and improve state infrastructure as taxpayers intended.

Restore honesty to the budget process. Last year’s budget underfunded the costs of both the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and Department of Mental Health by $465 million. The revised budget addresses the shortfalls in these departments and establishes controls to prevent future overspending.

Sell underutilized state properties. The revised budget proposes the sale of state-owned properties like the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Montclair Golf Course in Oakland, the Capital Area Development Authority in Sacramento and the Ramirez Canyon property in Southern California. These properties serve no state function and should be sold off to pay debt.

The May Revision can be found here:


Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

American Express New Policy Regarding Credits

I just received this from a small business owner who forwarded the message below.

For those of you accepting American Express cards this could be of interest to you. For those of you accepting other credit cards it would seem to me that it is just a matter of time until they will adopt the same policy.

--If you accept Amex cards pay special attention to your mail in the next week or so. I just received a letter from American Express updating our credit card processing agreement with them. It says that as of July 1, 2011 they will no longer refund the Discount (the credit card fee) when we issue a credit (refund) to a customer. If you don't like this you can elect to have your Discount Rate raised by 40 basis points (0.40%) instead. Does anyone else feel that this is a rip off. My suggestion is that when you get this letter call them up and let them know you are not happy and are considering not accepting their card. If they get away with this I can promise you that Visa, Mastercard and Discover will not be far behind.--

To all of you that are incorporated I suggest you review your records to make sure you are keeping proper documentation to protect your corporate veil in the event of a lawsuit.

Are your minutes up to date?

Are you keeping the corporate activities totally separate from your personal activities?

In the last few years I was a party to a lawsuit and my wife and I were named individually. The lawsuit was frivolous but our records were thoroughly reviewed. They also looked closely to see if there was an alter ego. You might want to consult a professional on this and make sure your records are up to date.

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

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Many of you may not know that in 2005 the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act was passed and it included a provision that governmental entities withhold 3% on nearly all payments to contractors that work for these governmental agencies. This was to take effect January 2011.

In 2009 the American Recovery Act and Reinvestment Act delayed implementation a year. The IRS recently announced that they are going to further delay this until Dec 21st 2012.

The Office of Advocacy and many business organizations applauded this action but we continue to request that this unfair tax be eliminated as it will create cash flow problems for many small businesses contracting with the government.

Small Business California wants to extend our thanks to the Office of Advocacy and its Chief Council Winslow Sargeant. On a personal note thank you Winslow.

Today AB 400 will come before the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This would require businesses with less than 10 employees to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to their employees and businesses with more than 10 employees to provide up to 72 hours.

Small Business California has been tracking this bill closely. It is expected that this will go into suspense because of the cost to the state for In Home Health Workers. When Assemblywoman Ma introduced this before the cost estimate to the state was $50 million.

Yesterday the California Insurance Guarantee Association [CIGA] Board of which I serve voted to approve an assessment for 2012 of 2.285 on all workers compensation policies. This is a reduction of the current rate of 2.559.

CIGA is the organization that pays for claims of admitted insolvent insurance companies. We have struggled over the last few years as about 26 workers compensation insurance have become insolvent. I am proud to say that with the help of a $750 million bond we never have missed a payment to an injured worker.

I am still looking for more examples of burdensome state regulations. Please send them to me. Small Business California is keeping track of your comments.

To see what we have already received go to

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

Monday, May 09, 2011

June 6 Small Business Event/ Directors & Officers Liability

On June 6th from 8 to 4 Small Business California along with a number of other small business associations will be co sponsoring an event at the Sacramento Convention Center.

It will include Speaker John Perez and Senate Pro Tem Daryl Steinberg. They also will have a lunch where legislators will recognize small businesses in their districts.

The cost is $85. If you would like to attend I can send you full details by return email. I believe Governor Jerry Brown has been invited to speak at the luncheon.

I was surprised by the response that I got to the volunteers handbook for non profits. Given this interest I want to pass on another suggestion for those of you that are on the board of directors for non profits.

As you know if you are a board member or executive director you can be held personally liable for the actions of the nonprofit as you have a fiduciary responsibility to the nonprofit.

You should make sure that your By Laws have an indemnification provision and that you have directors and officers liability.

You should discuss this with the nonprofits attorney. Thank you John Pryor for reminding me of this.

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

Friday, May 06, 2011

SBDC Next Steps Event in Bakersfield & Other Matters

Please see information sent by Marty Keller the Small Business Advocate. I have deleted the attachment as I don’t send attachments on these emails but if you would like this information I will send to you.

Small Business California supports AB 29and testified at the Business and Professions committee.

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


Our collaboration with the Small Business Development Centers called “Next Steps for Small Business” moves to Bakersfield on Thursday, May 26. Please see the attached flyer for complete information and the link to register. I look forward to meeting small business owners in the southern San Joaquin Valley region.

Yesterday, Assembly Speaker John Perez’ bill AB 29, which would establish the Governor’s Office of Economic Development—including the Office of the Small Business Advocate—in statute, passed out of the Committee on Jobs, Economic, Development, and the Economy on a bipartisan vote of 6-0. It goes next to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

May is Small Business Month, and is jammed-packed with many tributes to our small business owners and opportunities to support their efforts to grow their businesses during these challenging times. Be sure to consult the GOED calendar to see what’s happening across the state. If you have a small business event you’d like added to the calendar, please email the information to our awesome intern Daisy Luna at

As always, please forward this message to your network.

Be prosperous!

Marty Keller
Deputy Director, Small Business Advocate
California Governor's Office of Economic Development (GoED)
1130 K Street, Suite 101 - Sacramento, California 95814
Office: (916) 322-0673
Follow us on Twitter: @CAGoED

We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our
freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this

Monday, May 02, 2011

Nonprofit Volunteers/ IT Theft

Many of you serve on nonprofit boards as do I. I have always been concerned about nonprofits having a formal policy for their volunteers. I therefore under the auspices of my company CAL Insurance have put together a Volunteers Handbook for nonprofits.

This includes an outline of what a nonprofit should provide its Volunteers
It also provides a very important letter explaining insurance coverages and a release of liability for workers compensation. Most nonprofits do not provide workers compensation coverage for their volunteers and I think there is an exposure to the nonprofit and maybe even the directors if f this is not clearly pointed out.

If you would like to receive a copy of this handbook please let me know.

Please see below what I think is an important survey indicating that nearly one third of Americans feel that businesses are not doing enough to them from workplace discrimination and identity theft. This presents some real liabilities for businesses.

You may not know that there is available in the insurance market place coverage for these liabilities as well as coverage for hackers and worms and IT theft on their IT systems.

Even if you don’t buy the insurance coverage you should be aware of the questions asked by the underwriters as it will give you some guidelines of what are the concerns of the underwriters and policies you can put in place to protect yourself. If you would like a sample application please let me know.

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

Survey: Businesses Not Doing Enough to Protect Against Discrimination; ID Theft
By admin | May 2, 2011

Nearly a third of Americans report that businesses are not doing enough to protect them from workplace discrimination and identity theft.

A recent survey by the Chubb Group of Insurance Cos. found that one in three people surveyed said, compared to a year ago, companies are less likely to protect employees from gender discrimination (30 percent) and other workplace discrimination (32 percent). One-third (32 percent) also believe that companies are less likely to protect consumers from the theft of personal information.

Discrimination Charges Soar

“A record-high number of discrimination charges have been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” noted Catherine Padalino, vice president and employment practices liability product manager for Chubb. “The surge may be the result of a large number of employees who were laid off and have had difficulty finding new employment.”

Padalino says that when employers face employment discrimination charges they should conduct investigations of all charges and report them in a timely manner to their insurance company. “In addition, employers should continually review and adhere to anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation policies and procedures, keep abreast of changes in employment laws and seek outside counsel when facing discrimination charges or considering employee layoffs.”

Cyber Threats Grow

Despite corporate controls, the number of cyber breaches continues to grow, the survey says.

“The increased use of electronic health records, mobile devices, apps and social media offers cyber criminals new places to play,” said Tracey Vispoli, senior vice president and Chubb’s worldwide cyber security liability manager. “As cyber breaches expose more employees and consumers to identity theft, companies are wrestling with higher costs to contain and repair the financial and reputational damage.”
A company’s board of directors needs to understand the risk associated with the theft of employee and customer information, Vispoli advised.

“This is more than just an IT issue,” Vispoli says. “Although companies can help mitigate the risk by following best practices, they also need to have contingency plans in place before a data breach occurs.”

Chubb’s survey of 1,000 Americans was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, an independent public opinion and market research firm, in April 2011.

Source: Chubb