Wednesday, October 26, 2011

AARP/On Bill Financing

AARP is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington and to a lesser degree Sacramento. There are about 3.2 million members in California alone. Traditionally, small business organizations have not worked with AARP but my question to you is should Small Business California reach out to AARP?

You may not be aware that many of the start up businesses being created are by people 50 and over. It also seems like small businesses would be interested in tapping into a work force of people 50 and over where many of which need or want to work after retiring. What are your thoughts? Are there other issues we can work together on? Are you a member of AARP?

On Oct 13th, Senator Bernie Sander [Vermont] chaired a hearing on how utilities can help customers use savings on their monthly energy bills to finance energy efficiency improvements at homes and businesses. If this sounds familiar, it is exactly what Small Business California has brought to California with its On Bill Financing program.

Senator Sanders was quoted as saying “When you have a program that cuts energy bills and makes small businesses more competitive, creates jobs and slashes greenhouse gas emissions, that is a win-win-win, and Congress should support these efforts”

Small Business California has asked Mike Rossi, the Energy Czar for the Governor to help us expand On Bill financing in California. Small Business California and 14 other small business associations in California have written a letter to SBA Administrator asking the SBA to assist in these efforts. The SBA is required to do this under the 2007 Energy Bill passed by Congress and signed by the President. In California, San Diego Gas & Electric has done a great job in implementing On Bill Financing. PG&E and Southern California Edison quite frankly have dragged their feet.

On Oct 25th, Victor Parker was sworn in to be the SBA District Director of LA, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Mark Quinn, District Director in SF, has been shuttling between SF and LA filling in as acting District Director for the last few months. Does anyone know Victor? Small Business California looks forward to working with him.

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