Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Net Operating Loss Carryback/ Fix the Debt

Next Monday the Revenue and Tax Committee will be hearing Assemblywoman Skinners bill to repeal the Net Loss Carryback. This is awful legislation and will hurt many small businesses in California. Small Business California filed yesterday filed a letter of opposition cosigned by other associations including

Brand Source Pacific Rim Region,Small Business Majority, California Association of Competitive Telecommunications Companies. Golden Gate Restaurant Association,California Metals Association, Engineers Contractors Association, California Fence Contractors Association, California Chapter of the American Fence Association, Flasher Barricade Association and the Marin Builder Exchange.

I will be putting together another association letter so if you are an association and would like to be added please let me know and I can send you a copy of the letter.If you are an individual and want to oppose you can use the association letter and change it accordingly

Small Business California does not usually get involved in a lot of National issues but the National debt is one that we believe is of importance to California small businesses. In past Small Business White House Conference this came up as one of the top issues.

We therefore will be supporting this effort.

Please see below letter from the campaign. Do you agree? If you want more information please let me know.

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116



As a small business owner, you understand how challenging it is to plan for the future when there is so much economic uncertainty around the future of taxes, healthcare costs, and the overall economy, due to the political gridlock in Washington. As the engine of economic growth in this country, the small business community can play a critical role in pushing our elected leaders to make the tough decisions necessary to promote investment and job creation, while also dealing with our unsustainable and mounting debt.

For this reason, I am writing to encourage you to add your voice to the national dialogue. We are working with the Campaign to Fix the Debt, which was founded by Al Simpson and Erskine Bowles, as a non-partisan effort to urge lawmakers to come together to pass a comprehensive, long-term plan to address our nation’s fiscal challenges, stabilize the unsustainable trajectory of our national debt, and create the certainty and confidence needed for businesses - both large and small - to invest, create jobs, and grow the economy. Attached is some information on the Campaign to Fix the Debt.

There are a number of ways that you can get involved, including:

• Attend an open press roundtable discussion on the deficits and debt, from the perspective of California small business owners. (If you are interested in joining me for one of these events in California, please contact me directly.)

• Engage in media (e.g., write op-eds or letters to the editor or do interviews with press) to add your voice to national debt issue.

• Sign the Campaign to Fix the Debt’s Citizens' Petition.

• Contact your Member of Congress by letter, phone, or in person.

If you are interested, please feel free to contact me, and I will put you in touch with someone from Fix the Debt to get you involved.


Phong Dinh

Senior Director of Coalitions, Campaign to Fix the Debt

Direct: 202.735.2804 • Cell: 703.855.4417

Web: www.fixthedebt.org • Email: dinh@fixthedebt.org

Sign the Citizens' Petition to Fix the Debt.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Legal Delays/ Swipe Fee Settlement/ JFK quote

A couple of weeks ago I met with Andi Liebenbaum Senior Governmental Affairs Analyst Judicial Council Administrative Office of the Court. She wanted to discuss the cuts to the Courts over the last few years. She asked if small business people around the state have experienced the delays in the judicial process and was it creating problems and expense for small business.

I would also like to hear from attorneys that receive this email. What are you experiencing.

As a small business owner myself I try to stay away from the courts as much as possible and honestly I have not heard this about this problem except from attorneys.

Please give me your comments.

Awhile back I sent an email telling people how they could claim a return on swipe fees by Visa and Mater Card based on the settlement being offered in the class action lawsuit. Over the weekend I received an email from Hut Landon telling me that the American Booksellers Association believes settlement is not in the best interest of Independent Booksellers around the country. In the interest of fairness please see below statement by Oren Teicher CEO of the American Booksellers Association.

Last week while riding on Muni I saw a sticker with a quote from John F Kennedy. I think it is something we should all think about.

He said

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate,contrived and dishonest but the myth,persistent,persuasive and unrealistic. Beliefs in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought”

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116



Swipe Fee Class Action Settlement - Booksellers Urged To Opt Out and Object

Dear Booksellers:

I am writing about an important opportunity for booksellers to join a growing effort to reject the recent class action settlement over rapidly rising Visa and Master Card swipe fees. By now, you should have received a 20-plus-page settlement notice that requires you to act by May 28.

The settlement notice offers you several options: to file a claim for monetary damages (equal to approximately two to three months' worth of interchange fees); to opt out of the settlement; to object to the settlement; or to opt out and object to the settlement. The deadline to file your decision is May 28, 2013.

After very careful consideration - and consultation with other retail associations - ABA is recommending that booksellers opt out and object to the settlement. You will find an informative Settlement Summary (click here) that was put together by the class plaintiffs opposing the settlement. It will provide the pros and cons of each option, along with forms that allow you to opt out and object.

In short, it is our belief that the settlement does not offer meaningful changes to the interchange or "swipe fee" rules that are the centerpiece of the case. And, importantly, the settlement denies all current and future merchants their right to bring future legal action related to interchange rules and rate setting, among other things, against Visa, MasterCard, and the banks.

Opting out and objecting is the most complete way to express your opposition to the settlement. Moreover, you will also get the best protection from any argument that you have accepted the settlement's release terms and you will be entitled to sue for past damages.

A fairness hearing in the swipe fee case is scheduled for September 12. Clearly, if, at the hearing, the Judge is presented with the fact that an overwhelming number of businesses from the retail community have decided to opt out and object to the settlement that may go a long way in persuading the court that the settlement is unfair.

Let me stress that, ultimately, the decision as to whether to accept the settlement, to object to it, or to opt out and object to it is up to you. You must do what is best for your own business. But, importantly, if you take no action the court may interpret this silence as total acceptance and support of the terms of the settlement.

So please, do read the Settlement Summary carefully and then make your decision.

If you wish to opt out and object, you can do so electronically at http://merchantsobject.com/opt-out-object/.


Oren Teicher, CEO

American Booksellers Association

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Reporter Questions

Please see questions from a reporter that I have worked with for years. Please see questions below. I would also be interested in knowing even if you wouldn’t talk to a reporter

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116



Hi Scott,

Here are some questions:

The ACA includes a provision that would extend nondiscrimination rules “similar” to those that apply to self-insured employer plans to employers who buy fully insured coverage from carriers. The IRS rules say that employers can’t discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees in terms of access to coverage or generosity of benefits. So, currently, some fully insured employers, for example, might allow the CEO or other executives free or lower cost coverage than other employees. Some might offer them PPOs, while other employees are in an HMO. It’s not clear yet -- because final regulations are not out – exactly whether examples like that in the future will be considered discriminatory. The provision won’t go into effect until the final regs are issued. I’m hoping to chat with some firms that may have benefit packages like currently.

1) Are you fully insured?

2) Do your higher paid employees – even just the CEO – get different benefits or face different eligibility standards for coverage than other employees? My addition do you provide HMO for employees but take a more expensive PPO and pay for it from your company? Do you cover employees employee coverage only for your employees but cover your dependent and pay for it through your company?

3) If so, what changes are you contemplating in light of the ACA provision? My addition. You probably are not aware of this as very few people are. My question would be are you concerned about how ACA may rule on this?

If anyone is willing to chat today, that would be great. They (or you) could shoot me an email with their contact phone number and I will call.



Julie Appleby, MPH

Senior Correspondent, Kaiser Health News

202 654-1343

Who are we? Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Our stories appear in media outlets nationwide, including USA Today, the Washington Post and NBC.com, and on our website, www.kaiserhealthnews.org.

My KHN stories can be found here: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Reporters/ApplebyJ.aspx

Stories from my 10 years covering health policy for USA Today can be found here: http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/USAToday/results.html?st=advanced&QryTxt=&sortby=REVERSE_CHRON&datetype=0&frommonth=04&fromday=01&fromyear=1987&tomonth=02&today=28&toyear=2013&By=appleby&Title=&Sect=ALL

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Net operating Loss Carryback/ AB 837/Internet Tax

Last year Small Business California and over 30 small business associations opposed Assemblywoman Skinners bill to eliminate Net Operating Loss Carrybacks.Well its back. Assemblywoman Skinner has introduced AB 769 mirroring last year’s legislation eliminating these Carrybacks. Small Business California will again oppose this legislation. It is our position that small businesses should not lose this credit and California tax law should be the same as Federal tax law.

Yesterday I went to Sacramento to support Small Business California and the California Hispanic Chamber sponsored bill AB 837. This bill would codify the Small Business Development Center program and is the first step in getting state funding for California SBDCs This program served 60000 small businesses in California in 2012. I am pleased to report it passed on a 9 to 0 vote.

Small Business California would like to thank the thank Assemblywoman Campos for authoring the legislation and Toni Symonds for her assistance in getting this passed. Toni is the Chief Consultant for the Jobs and Economic Development Committee[JEDE]

You all I am sure have read that the Market Place Fairness Act will be coming before the full Senate shortly. This bill would level the playing field between brick and mortar businesses and those that sell over the internet. Businesses with less than $1 million receipts would be exempted.Small Business California strongly supports this as we were a major backer of the Amazon tax in California . It is expected that this will pass the Senate by the end of the week or the first week of May.

Please see link to Senator Diane Feinstein statement supporting this and in my conversation with Senator Boxers office it is expected that she will support.

The bill will then go to the House where passage is expected to be more difficult. I would like to encourage you to contact your House member and ask them to support this important piece of legislation


Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116



Monday, April 22, 2013

Unemployment/ ACA/ SB 626

Small Business California is on the Labor Secretary’s Unemployment Task Force. There is a 1`0 plus billion dollar shortage in the state unemployment account. California is traditionally late in their payments to the Federal government causing penalties which are paid by employers.

What has been your experience in dealing with unemployment claims?

Do you have any ideas how the debt can be repaid?

Are you concerned about the impact this will have on your business?

I have been contacted to see if I know of businesses in the LA area that would be willing to speak to NPR about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on their business. They are trying to focus on businesses with 40 to 60 employees who may face the 50 person threshold and be required to provide insurance to their employees or face a fine.

Next Wednesday SB 626 will be heard in the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. This is an awful bill that rolls back reforms Small Business California worked so hard on getting passed last year. We have put together a coalition of over 30 small business associations opposing this bill. Small Business California will be there to speak in opposition.

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Language for Credit Card Settlement

Please see below letter from Aaron regarding a Cash Settlement for businesses that accepted Visa or Master Card between January 1 2004 to November 28 2012. This could mean hundreds and maybe even thousands of dollars to you.

I know Aaron and Jim very well so this is not hoax..

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116



In the last few months, many businesses should have received letters regarding the large settlement reached in the long-running lawsuit over the interchange rates that Visa and Mastercard have charged businesses and non-profits in the past. Any person, business or other entity that accepted Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards in the U.S. at any time between January 1, 2004 and November 28, 2012 may be eligible to receive a payment from the $6.05 billion settlement fund.

Under the terms of the settlement, local businesses will be able to collect money from the credit card companies based on past credit card transactions. If you ignored the letter in the mail, it’s not too late to register your business for your share of the settlement money.

You can learn more about the settlement and preregister for reimbursement at the court authorized website - https://www.paymentcardsettlement.com/en.

This is the only website with court authorized information about the settlement. The Judge on this case recently required some groups to change the misleading language on their sites.


This is an opportunity to recoup the money that is owed to you from credit card fees. The more you have paid in fees since 2004, the larger your settlement could be. The amount paid from the Cash Settlement Fund will be based on actual or estimated interchange fees attributable to Visa and MasterCard transactions from January 1, 2004 through November 28, 2012.

Here is some of the media coverage regarding the outreach efforts underway in other parts of California to help businesses recover fees:

San Diego Story - http://www.kpbs.org/news/2013/feb/19/national-public-charity-helps-reimburse-swipe-fees/

Santa Barbara Story - http://www.noozhawk.com/article/santa_barbara_business_credit_card_class-action_settlement_swipe_fees/

Please contact Aaron Goldsmith if you have any questions – 415-824-0582 or Aaron@JimRossConsulting.com. You can also contact Jim Ross at 415-824-0582 or at jim@jimrossconsulting.com

For more information, please see the FAQ section of the court approved settlement website: https://www.paymentcardsettlement.com/en/Home/FAQ


Aaron Goldsmith

Jim Ross Consulting

951 830 0919

415 824 0582

Friday, April 12, 2013

Small Business Development Centers AB 837

The Small Business Development Centers are unquestionably the premier technical assistance provider for small businesses in California. Some statistics.

In 2012 SBDCs assisted small companies that created 6962 jobs

3855 jobs which were slated for elimination were saved attributed to assistance from SBDCs

929 new businesses were started with the help of SBDC

$285 million in new revenue was generated by SBDC clients

62000 small business owners sought out and chose California SBDC consultants and trainers. Over 50% of those served were woman,48% were minorities and 12% were veterans and service disabled veterans

Over 90% of those served would recommend the services to a colleague.

This without one dime of money from the state of California.

This is a travesty. Almost all the states in the country contribute to their SBDC program. What makes it even worse is that the SBA funds the California SBDCs on a matching basis and California SBDCs have had to return money to the SBA. That money goes to other States SBDC program.

To try and obtain money it has been recommended that first the California SBDC program be codified. AB 837 has been introduced by Assemblywoman Campos to do just that. The bill introduces accountability standards and reporting requirements if and when California appropriations are made to support the California SBDC.

According to the Fact sheet on the bill this bill would require the California SBDCState Chair[ an existing nonstate position], in any year that state appropriations are made to support the California SBDC ,to submit a report to the director of the Governors Office of Business and Economic Development, and to the legislature, with detailed information on the programs activities and performance.

AB 837 would create zero cost to the state. Any appropriations the California SBDC would be under a separate budgetary action.

Small Business California is sponsoring this bill along with the California Hispanic Chamber. We are in the process of getting associations and individuals to also support this. The NFIB is a supporter. Will you help us? Have you used an SBDC to help your business?

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116



Thursday, April 11, 2013

AB 227

In a previous email I indicated that Assemblyman Gatto has introduced AB 227 to give businesses 14 days to post the required Prop 65 warning sign when notified of a violation. This is a common sense piece of legislation.

Small businesses want to conform with the law but may not be aware of this requirement and attorneys have brought actions against a business that cost thousands of dollars.

Now we need your help. Please call Assemblyman Phil Tangs office and ask that he support Prop 65. Be sure to leave your name, business and address of your business. If you live in his district indicate your address. You can call at any time and so do not worry about calling during business hours.

Yesterday I met with Aaron Moreno who is staffing this bill for Assemblyman Gatto. He asked that SF businesses contact Assemblyman Phil Ting being that he is on the Environmental Safety and Toxic Material Committee. It is important to contact as soon as possible. The district office number is 415-557-2312

It will be heard before committee April 16.

Please let me know if you call. Thank you.

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116



Monday, April 08, 2013

Affordable Care Act /Penalties/ SB 1098

The penalties for individuals under the ACA are somewhat misunderstood. The number for an individual is a minimum of $95. This increases to $325 in 2015,$695 in 2016 and $695 indexed for inflation thereafter.

There is an additional penalty for spouses and dependents up to a maximum of three times the individual penalty

This is increased to 1% if an individual makes over $19500 [ according to the IRS subtracts the first $10000 so the 1% does not apply] This is first year.

For couples with no dependents it is 1% of excess income defined as that over $20000. This means they would have to make over $28000 for the 1% to apply. The rate goes up to 2% in 2015 and 2.5% 2016. This is first year

For couples with one dependent it is 1% of excess income defined as $23900. This means that the household income would have to exceed $$37500 for the 1% to apply. The rate goes up to 2% in 2015 and 2.5% in 2016. This is first year

For couples with 2 dependents it is 1% of excess income defined as26800. This means that the couple and two dependents would have to make $$46000.

The rate goes up to 2% in 2015 and 2.5% 2016. This is first year

There are additional rules around this but I am trying to keep it simple.

Senator Harkey has introduced SB 1049 which would require the Board of Equalization to pay the same interest rate on over payments as they charge on underpayments. This was the law until 1991. Seems like common sense legislation and Small Business California will be supporting.

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116



Friday, April 05, 2013

NSBA Survey on Immigration and Workforce/SB121

Please see below press release from the National Small Business Association regarding immigration and workforce issues.. What do you think about the findings.

A bill has been introduced SB 121[Evans] that would require all publicly held businesses to notify their shareholders 24 hours before making a contribution to a candidate or a cause. They also will be required to do an annual report It is not clear if there is a threshold contribution level or whether it applies to all contributions. It is also not clear whether this applies to PACs.

This does not appear to affect small businesses as most are not publically.

For more information go to www.leginfo.ca.gov

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116



America's Small Business Advocate


April 4, 2013


Molly Brogan



NSBA Releases New Survey on Immigration and Workforce

Washington, D.C. – The National Small Business Association (NSBA) today released its 2013 Workforce and Immigration Survey. Among the key findings: while only 17 percent employ immigrant workers, nearly half of respondents said they rely on highly-skilled workers with a STEM background, driving broad agreement that a new visa category ought to be created for highly-skilled workers.

Although a narrow majority of respondents responded they would support requiring all employers comply with some kind of E-Verify system—which was not defined in the survey—the overwhelming majority (76 percent) do not use the current system or have never even heard of it.

“When confronted with the current reality of the E-Verify system and the fact that many leading proposals would enforce penalties of up to $75,000 and 10 years in prison, we would expect a marked drop in this already low level of support for mandating the existing program or massive increases in penalties on all employers,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken.

The survey also asked small-business owners about workforce preparedness and found that one-third say the quality and education of the current workforce is not meeting their needs. To address this shortfall, 92 percent say the offer some kind of additional training to employees, and 32 percent offer money toward employees’ continuing education or certification programs.

When it comes to hiring procedures, 43 percent of small-business respondents report conducting a criminal background checks on prospective employees, and 80 percent report putting new employees to work within one week of being hired.

“As lawmakers debate immigration reform and other workforce proposals, NSBA is calling on them to give small business the tools to grow and create jobs and avoid unnecessary burdens that will have a stymieing effect on economic growth,” said NSBA Chair David Ickert of Air Tractor, Inc. in Olney, Texas.

Click here to download the report.


Click here to view NSBA’s recent letter to Congress on immigration reform.


Celebrating more than 75 years in operation, NSBA is a staunchly nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. NSBA's 65,000 members represent every state and every industry in the U.S., and we are proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization. Please visit www.nsba.biz or follow us at @NSBAAdvocate.



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