Thursday, March 28, 2013

Workers Compensation Bill AB1138/ GO Biz Presentations

On March 21 AB1138 went through a process called gut and amend. What this means is the original language of the bill is eliminated and a new language is added. This is new language. If you look at the link it says that if an employer doesn’t keep track of their employees on a quarterly basis they are subject to penalties. It also says they will lose the exclusive remedy that exist on workers compensation injuries currently in California.. Right now as a general rule an employee cannot sue an employer if they suffer a workers compensation injury. SB Cal will be watching this closely. Comments?

Crack down on misclassification (AB 1138 – Chau). Misclassification of workers is spreading quickly. It brings down wages and working conditions in many key unionized industries. It also puts responsible contractors and other employers at a competitive disadvantage. We increased penalties for misclassification in previous legislation, now we need to improve enforcement. We will require that employers list the workers that are covered by their workers’ compensation insurance policies in order to expose who they employ off the books or misclassify as independent contractors.

The bill is here:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_1138&sess=CUR&house=B&author=chau





For those of you in the Sacramento area and the San Diego area please see two events being presented to small business. I went to the one in Emeryville and it was excellent.

Michael Lujans presentation on the Affordable Care Act is not to be missed if you can make.



CDC Small Business Finance and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) are pleased to host a working lunch for small business owners. The program will provide information on healthcare compliance, workforce training funds, and resources to help grow your business. Details are below! For more information about GO-Biz, please visit www.business.ca.gov.









Brown Bag it!

A Working Lunch for Small Businesses



The program will address the following questions and issues:



• Will the new health care law affect your business? Michael Lujan (Director, Small Business Health Options Program from the California State Health Benefit Exchange, newly named as Covered California) will explain how the Affordable Care Act will affect small businesses in California.



• In need of funds for employee training? Robert Meyer from the State of California’s Employment Training Panel will describe how small businesses can qualify for this program, which offers small businesses reimbursements for workforce training.



• What can GO-Biz do for your business? Barbara A. Vohryzek, Small Business Advocate from GO-Biz, will describe the range of services that GO-Biz provides to business owners.





Event Details

April 9, 2013, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

West Sacramento Civic Center Galleria

1110 West Capitol Avenue, West Sacramento

Registration $20.00 - Lunch provided



The event flyer is attached. Register now! Space is limited.

Please visit us at www.bit.ly/brownbagit for registration and more information.





Event Details

April 11, 2013, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Liberty Station Conference Center

2600 Laning Road, San Diego, CA 92106



The event flyer is attached. Register now! Space is limited.

Please visit us at http://cdcloans.com/san-diego-brown-bag-it-event for registration and more information.







Scott Hauge

President

Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

shauge@cal-insure.com

415-680-2188



















Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Unemployment Insurance/Upcoming Affordable Care Act Opportunities for Small Business Owners


Small Business California is part of a task force put together by Labor Secretary Marty Morgenstern to try to solve the over $10 billion debt to the Federal government for Unemployment Insurance. A consultant is being hired to come up with solutions to this problem. We will be at the table when decisions are made how to solve this most serious problem. We will keep you up dated on this issue over the year. If you want more information please let me know.



Please see email I received from the SBA about information available to small businesses about the Affordable Care Act



SBA is actively engaged in educating small business owners about the Affordable Care Act and the provisions they need to know about. As part of our efforts, we have the following opportunities coming up for you and members of your extended networks to learn more about the law:



1) Affordable Care Act Implementation: What Small Businesses Need To Know – Conference Call with Business Forward – Tuesday, April 2 at 2:00 PM ET

2) The Affordable Care Act & Women Small Business Owners – Webinar with US Women’s Chamber of Commerce – Wednesday, April 3 at 1:30 PM ET

3) Update on the New Health Care Law – Conference Call with Small Business Majority – Thursday, April 18 at 1:00 PM ET



If you have any questions or would like to partner with SBA on ACA education and outreach, please let me know.



Best,

Chris



-----

Chris Van Es

Special Assistant for Public Engagement

US Small Business Administration

(202)205-7660

Christopher.vanes@sba.gov





Scott Hauge

President

Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

shauge@cal-insure.com

415-680-2188















Monday, March 25, 2013

Prop 65/EVerify

Ken Mork Brand Source Pacific Rim Region Manager has brought to me another situation around Prop 65. Brand Source is an association that represents furniture dealers in California. Apparently his members are receiving a certified”Supplemental 60 Notice of Violation” letter alleging violations of Prop 65.


In effect the letter is saying that the dealer can make a settlement with the attorney.

The issue is that a product they are selling has a chemical that is on the Governors list of chemicals that are known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or reproductive toxicity. Product contacting these chemicals must be labeled as such.

The problem is that many of the manufacturers of these products are not labeling these products and therefore the dealer does not know that they are in violation.

There are some who are exempt from this

Governmental agencies and public water utilities

Businesses with 9 or fewer employees.

The civil penalties for this are up to $2500 per day for each violation.

In 2011 327 cases were filed and $15.9 million has been extracted and the Citizen Plaintiffs have collected 25% [$521000]of the penalties and the attorney fee totaled $11.8 million.

Have any of you been the subject to this?



You all have heard that there very may well be some Federal immigration reform legislation passed this year. One thing that is being discussed is that all employers will be required to E Verify employees. This is required in a few states and is required on Federal contracts now. What E Verify does is determine the legal status of the employee.

The problem here is that also being discussed are penalties up to $75000 and up to 10 years in jail for violations. I don’t know about you but this seems excessive.

There is an accuracy rate of about 98.5% but a problem arises in that I don’t think there is safe harbor for employers should they not hire a person based on E Verify results. They are therefore subject to lawsuits should they take action based on the EVerify results.

Interestingly enough when I Googled what California is doing I found that AB1236 was signed by Governor Brown in October 2011 prohibiting state municipalities from passing mandatory E Verify ordinances.

What do you think?







Scott Hauge

President

Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

shauge@cal-insure.com

415-680-2188



















Friday, March 22, 2013

health care system

The total health care cost of our health care system is about $2.6 trillion and represents about 17% of our GDP. There are projections it will reach 19% by 2017. What I learned yesterday was that only $80 billion of that total is for primary care. This is really interesting because primary care I think is really at the core of controlling cost.


A company named Qliance located in Seattle Washington provides primary care to individuals, small businesses and some larger companies. The cost range from $59 to $94 per person. They provide at no cost beyond the monthly charge preventative care, urgent care Specialist & Hospital care,behavior&lifestyle management, chronic disease management and wellness. The clinics they have provide extended office hours and weekend hours and appointments with doctors are 30 minutes to an hour.

While the cost may seem high the savings when you look at the number of reduced Emergency room visits, hospitalization days, specialist visits, advanced radiology and surgeries more than makes up for the additional cost. After factoring in the cost the savings are $1727 per member per year. It is interesting to note that the number of primary care visits to Qliance per 1000 of their members is 4411 and the benchmark per 1000 is 1847. You should also be aware that there is no selectivity in people becoming members. Anyone can join.

I think a convincing argument can be made that if our country is going to reduce the cost of health care we need to increase spending on primary care and increase the number of primary care physicians. What do you think?





I am beginning to hear more talk about individuals and businesses that provide health insurance for employees meeting the minimum coverage requirements required under the Affordable Care Act. Is this a concern to you? Are you concerned about coverages not being adequate or not being able to have deductible above $2000 per individual and $4000 per family.





Scott Hauge

President

Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

shauge@cal-insure.com

415-680-2188

















Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Affordable Care Act

Small Business California has spent a lot of time trying to understand the Affordable Care Act’s provisions and IRS regulations. Two issues have come up that I think are important for small businesses to understand.

The IRS has said that businesses that provide health insurance to their employees must offer coverage to their employees dependents. Interestingly the definition of dependents does not include spouses but children under 26. I would think in California most employers would offer this coverage to the spouses also.

While they have to offer coverage to dependents the business does not have to pay for it. The problem here however is because the employer has offered coverage to the dependents the dependents are not eligible for the subsidies in the Exchange. These subsidies are significant and many situations will arise where the employee would be better off if the employer dropped coverage for them and let the employee set up an individual policy covering them and their dependents taking advantage of the subsidies.

There is a lot of debate on this and I have tried over the last month to get confirmation and am reasonably certain this is the case.



When the Affordable Care Act passed it was assumed that individuals purchasing health insurance would have to pay in after tax dollars. To my knowledge the IRS has not come out with their regulations on this and many think the delay is because they ultimately will rule that in certain cases like an employer setting up an account like a cafeteria plan will allow the employee to pay in pretax dollars. While this may be good it will be a severe blow to the Small Business Health Insurance Options Program[SHOP] in the Exchange. The IRS regulations should be coming out any day on this.





Scott Hauge

President

Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

shauge@cal-insure.com

415-680-2188

















Tuesday, March 19, 2013

AB 227

Yesterday Lori Kammerer Small Business California Government Affairs person and Lee Petillon Board Member and I were in Sacramento meeting with legislators on legislation Small Business California is sponsoring. In our visits we met with Aaron Moreno in Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s office and he told us about a bill Assemblyman Gatto is proposing AB 227. This is a reasonable measure protecting businesses from lawsuits for not displaying warning posters at their place of business. These lawsuits are costing businesses thousands of dollars to settle. It basically says that a business has 14 days to correct the violation.

Small Business California will be addressing this with our Board and expect to support. Please see legislation below. If you want a poster please let me know and I will send to you.



Scott Hauge

President

Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

shauge@cal-insure.com

415-680-2188



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

State Contracts/ Brown Bag Lunch

In Small Business California’s recently released survey 53.7% said “Awarding state contracts to small busineses”was a top or high priority.

Yesterday I received a call from Angel Carrera from the Department of General l Services asking how DGS could be of more assistance to small businesses in obtaining state contracts. Are you certified with the state? If you are certified have you received any contracts? What can the state do to help small businesses in this area?



Last call. See information below about program for small businesses. It will be Thursday March 14 in Emeryville from 11 until 2PM. We are fortunate to have Michael Lujan presenting as he is the head of the SHOP{ Small Business Group Program in Connect California] I hope to see many of you there as Small Business California is a cosponsor of this event. I want to thank Jim Baird at Bay Area Development Company and Barbara Vohrzek the Governors Small Business Advocate for making this happen.



Scott Hauge

President

Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

shauge@cal-insure.com

415-680-2188





Bay Area Development Company and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) are pleased to host a working lunch for small business owners. The program will provide information on healthcare compliance, workforce training funds and resources to help grow your business. Details are below!



Brown Bag it!

A Working Lunch for Small Businesses



The program will address the following questions and issues:



• Will the new health care law affect your business? Michael Lujan from the Health Benefit Exchange, newly named as Covered California, will explain how the Affordable Care Act will affect small businesses in California.



• Are you in need of money for employee training? Robert Meyer from the State of California’s Employment Training Panel will describe how small businesses can qualify for this program, which offers small businesses funding for workforce training.



• What can GO-Biz do for your business? Barbara A. Vohryzek, Small Business Advocate from GO-Biz, will describe the range of services that GO-Biz provides to business owners.



Event Details

March 14, 2013

Hyatt House

5800 Shellmound Street

Emeryville, CA



The event flyer is attached. Register now! Space is limited. Please visit us at www.baydevco/brownbag for registration.

For more information about GO-Biz, please visit www.business.ca.gov.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Thanks you/ AB626


Thank you all for signing the opposition letter for SB 626. You will get a copy of the letter next week with your logo on it. We ended up with 33 associations and this email is going to you representing those associations.

One of the organizations that signed onto the letter was CAMEO.

They are sponsoring a bill[SB 626] to allow people who are unemployed to collect unemployment insurance. Small Business California has not taken a position on this bill but I thought you might be interested in seeing the argument against from the Cal Chamber and the response of CAMEO.

What do you think. Let me know your thoughts.

If you want to ask Heidi at CAMEO questions please contact her in email above



Scott Hauge

President

Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

shauge@cal-insure.com

415-680-2109





















Survey/ IRS/SB626


Yesterday you all received the link to our annual survey. I have told you that this will be delivered to every Assembly person, state Senator and the Governor . I have also said that the survey is used by legislators.

Yesterday I received a very nice note from Toni Symonds , Chief Consultant for the Assembly Committee on Jobs ,Economic Development and the Economy. She said

“Good stuff,thank you Scott. I will be referring to your survey in my policy analysis”

Thank you Toni

If you have not seen the survey it can be accessed by going to our website at www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org





There has been an effort by the National Small Business Association and Small Business California to get language out of Washington that is understandable.

This is a real problem and as an example I cite and IRS regulation regarding shared responsibility in the Affordable Care Act



“√úse of payroll periods. For payroll periods that are one week,two weeks,or semi-monthly in duration,an employer is permitted to treat as a measurement period a period that ends on the last day of the payroll period preceding the payroll period that includes the date that would otherwise be the last day of the measurement period, provided that measurement period begins on the first day of the payroll period that includes the date that would otherwise be the first day of the measurement period”

You can’t make this up.Thanks David Burton of NSBA for sending this clarification.





We will be sending our association letter opposing SB 626 which would unravel many of the reforms in last year workers compensation reform bill. Please see the 33 associations that will be signing the letter. Thank you to all

Opposing SB 626

1. 101 MFG (Manufacturing)

2. American Fence Association

3. American Subcontractors Association Capital City Chapter

4. California Association for Micro-Enterprise Opportunity

5. California Association of Competitive Telecommunications Companies

6. California Chapter of American Fence Association

7. California Employers Association

8. California Fish and Seafood Industry

9. California Metals Association Coalition

10. Coalition of Small and Disabled Veteran Businesses

11. Committee on Jobs – San Francisco

12. Engineering Contractors Association

13. Flasher/Barrier Association

14. Golden Gate Restaurant Association

15. Inland Valley Business Alliance- Rancho Cucamonga

16. Main Street Chamber- Rancho Cucamonga

17. Main Street Chamber-Upland

18. Marin Builder Exchange

19. Monterey County Business Council

20. Northern California Independent Booksellers Association

21. Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

22. Pacific Contractors Association

23. Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of California

24. Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of San Francisco

25. San Francisco Builders Exchange

26. San Francisco Locally Owned Merchants Alliance

27. San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

28. San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations

29. San Francisco Small Business Network

30. Small Business California

31. Small Business Majority

32. Small Manufactures Association of California

33. Brand Source Pacific Rim Region



Scott Hauge

President

Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

shauge@cal-insure.com

415-680-2188















Thursday, March 07, 2013

Small Business California Survey


As I said in a previous email we closed our survey Tuesday. We received over 1300 responses from every county in the state.

The top 7 issues were

The Economy

Access and Cost of Health Care

The quality of public education

Regulations

Taxes

Infrastructure

Awarding state contracts.



Some of the interesting responses to questions were:

38.5 % said revenues had declined the last 12 months with 30% saying they had increased

29.5 % said the number of people employed by them over the last 12 months had decreased while 15.3% said they had increased.

48% said they provide health insurance to employees while 52% said they did not.

63% said they had not contacted their state Senator, Assemblyman or Governor. We really need to work on this.

65.9% do not need capital but for those that did 145 were able to get it and 291 were not.

73.7% had never heard of the Affordable Care small business health tax credit



I want to acknowledge all the work Jim Ross and Sam Felsing of Jim Ross Consulting did in setting up the survey and sending out press releases. I also want to acknowledge the outreach efforts of the Small Business Development Centers around the state.



See link below to entire survey

http://www.surveymonkey.com/sr.aspx?sm=Pni8C_2fUrWsKys8vHSWypyuHWvxScfLvexFz5Wv2TYzI_3d





Scott Hauge

President

Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

shauge@cal-insure.com

415-680-2188

















Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Medical Care Cost/SB 626


In our survey which is closing today the number one issue outside of the economy for small business for the eighth straight year was Availability and Rising cost of Health Care. In the March 4th USA Today there was an article stating that” the spending for medical care has increased modestly for five years, the lo9ngest period of slow growth since Medicare began in 1966.”

This is probably surprising news to small business owners who provide medical insurance to their employees. The article goes on to say that health care spending in the US hit $2.67 trillion last year which was a record but as a percentage of the overall economy the percentage of GDP shrank from 17.12% to 17.04 percent.

The reason cited for the low numbers was the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Results of our survey will be sent to you Thursday. We have over 1300 respondents.





We continue to get strong support for our opposition to SB 626 which would repeal many of the reforms to the workers compensation bill passed last year.. Please see below Associations that have signed onto our letter. Thank you to all the associations that have signed. If your association wants to be added to the list please let me know and I will send you our letter. All we need is your okay and your logo.



1. American Fence Association

2. American Subcontractors Association Capital City Chapter

3. California Association of Competitive Telecommunications Companies

4. California Chapter of American Fence Association

5. California Fish and Seafood Industry

6. California Metals Association Coalition

7. Coalition of Small and Disabled Veteran Businesses

8. Engineering Contractors Association

9. Flasher/Barrier Association

10. Inland Valley Business Alliance- Rancho Cucamonga

11. Main Street Chamber- Rancho Cucamonga

12. Main Street Chamber-Upland

13. Marin Builder Exchange

14. Monterey County Business Council

15. Northern California Independent Booksellers Association

16. Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

17. Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of California

18. Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of San Francisco

19. San Francisco Builders Exchange

20. San Francisco Locally Owned Merchants Alliance

21. San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

22. San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations

23. San Francisco Small Business Network

24. Small Business California

25. Small Business Majority

26. Small Manufactures Association of California

27 The California Employers Association

28, The Golden Gate Restaurant Association





Scott Hauge

President

Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

shauge@cal-insure.com

415-680-2188















Monday, March 04, 2013

SBC survey

We are keeping our survey open a couple of extra days and will close Tuesday. We have 1261 responses so far so I am making a last minute push to get over 1300. Thank you to all that responded and if you have not done so please click on link below and complete. It should take you less than 10 minutes.

We will be doing a press release Wednesday and I will send all of you results Thursday



http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/92WN2HY





As you all know Small Business California is taking a leadership position in defeating AB 626 which would eliminate a number of reforms in last years workers compensation legislation. We must stop this bill. In our survey 43.7% of you said workers compensation was a high priority or top priority. 33% said was a moderate priority.

We now have 24 associations signing onto the letter of opposition and many of you are sending individual letters. Again if you are involved in an association and have not already done so please let me know and I will send you association letter. If you are an individual and want to send letter let me know and I will send you Small Business opposition letter.

We are looking to send association letter next Monday.





I am constantly amazed that there seems to be an attitude among many that it is not important to return phone calls and emails. I certainly understand not returning these when they are trying to sell something but what I don’t understand is not returning calls from customers or to people that are providing goods or services to a business. Why is this the case? Is this getting worse?

I am sure most of the businesses that are receiving this email are not guilty of this but I am also sure you see the same phenomena.





Scott Hauge

President

CAL Insurance and Associates, Inc.

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

www.cal-insure.com

Phone: (415) 680-2109

Fax: (415) 680-2137

License #0A32315

"Always looking out for you"

















Friday, March 01, 2013

SB 626

Yesterday Small Business California started putting together a coalition of small business Associations and small business owners opposing SB 626. This bill is a disaster and would overturn many of the workers compensation reforms we fought so hard for last year.

We now have 13 associations on board in opposition. They are:

American Fence Association

California Association of Competitive Telecommunications Companies

California Chapter of American Fence Association

California Fish and Seafood Industry

California Metals Association Coalition

Coalition of Small and Disabled Veteran Businesses

Engineering Contractors Association

Flasher/Barrier Association

Marin Builder Exchange

SF Chamber of Commerce

Small Business California

Small Manufactures Association of California

SF Small Business Network



We expect to end up with 25 or 30 within the next week. If you are part of an association and would like additional information and our association letter please let me know. If you are an individual and want a sample letter let me know.



When I started Small Business California I wanted to bring the small business community together. I think we are moving towards that goal. It is regrettable that this particular bill is in opposition as we want to be known as a proactive organization. We did that last year supporting the Small Development Centers[ 25 business associations supporting]. In our 7 plus years in existence we have only opposed 7 bills including this.



We are going to defeat SB 626 with your help.





Scott Hauge

President

Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116

shauge@cal-insure.com

415-680-2188