California 2008 Review
2008 was a very successful
year for Small Business California. Here is a list of our
most important accomplishments:
California led the fight to get an exemption for small
businesses with less than 500,000 in gross receipts from the
suspension of the Net Operating Loss Carryover tax.
California expanded its leadership role for California small
businesses by representing their interest in health policy.
Small Business California spoke at over 10 conferences and
has been a frequent source for the media around the country
on this subject.
California sponsored and passed AB 2181 (Ruskin). This bill
will streamline reporting requirements of workers’
compensation claims information, saving millions of dollars
and eliminating unnecessary paperwork.
California participated in the Governor’s Conference on
Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Small Business
California President Scott Hauge served as Co-Chair of the
Health Caucus and worked with the Pacific Business Group on
Health (PBGH) and other members of the Health Caucus,
developing a Small Business Healthcare Toolkit. The toolkit
has been received extremely well, and has been co-branded by
12 other associations around the state and is currently used
on 15 organization and business websites.
extensive discussions with the Department of Industrial
Relations, the Division of Workers’ Compensation and the
California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’
Compensation, Small Business California was able to secure
the development of a Return – to – Work Guidebook. This
guidebook will provide information to employers about the
new laws pertaining to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. The
information will also provide valuable assistance in best
practices and include a list of resources that the employer
can contact in obtaining additional guidance on the
ever-changing rules and responsibilities of the state’s
Return–to –Work laws.
California completed its 4th Annual Survey this
year and hit a milestone by having over 600 returned
surveys. We were able to get at least one survey completed
by every county in California. Our agenda each year is
formed by our survey, and 2008’s top issues for California
small business were:
The cost of
issues identified by the survey were workers’ compensation,
access to capital, and procurement.
On July 23rd,
Small Business California held a “Small Business Heroes”
Reception for those who have been extremely helpful in
promoting our small business agenda. The outstanding
individuals that were honored were California Insurance
Commissioner Steve Poizner, John Duncan from the Department
of Industrial Relations (DIR), Christine Baker and Lach
Taylor from the Commission on Health, Safety and Workers’
Compensation, Jim Pimental and John Wilcox from the San
Francisco Examiner, Jim Baird who owns Bay Area Development
and San Francisco’s KGO Radio Business Reporter, Lynn
Jimenez. All recipients were given our “2008 Small Business
Small Business California
represented many groups and organizations this year, as well
as serving on several advisory boards. To list a few:
California served on the Economic and Technology Advancement
Advisory Committee (ETAAC) supporting California small
businesses in the implementation of AB 32 (reduction of
California served on the Advisory Board of the Insure the
Uninsured Project (ITUP). ITUP is a non-partisan
organization that works with state government, community and
business organizations and employers to increase healthcare
coverage of California’s estimated 6.6 million uninsured.
California President and Founder Scott Hauge was appointed
to the Board of the Pacific Business Group on Health,
representing California small businesses. This organization
is composed of large employers who provide health insurance
or who are self-insured to over 3 million employees.
California represented small business on the Workers’
Compensation Insurance Rating Board’s Advisory Committee.
California represented small business on the Return – to
–Work Advisory Committee led by Acting Director Carrie
California Board Member Stephen Simpson was named to the
Department of General Services Advisory Board.
California worked with the California Workforce Investment
Board and surveyed best practices of other local Workforce
Investment Boards and will be putting forth a report in
Association of Competitive Telecommunications Companies (CALTEL)
joined Small Business California as an affiliate member.
Small Business California
has been particularly active in advocating energy issues
this year. Hank Ryan, Executive Director of Small Business
California, has a grant from the National Environmental
Protection Agency. He has been very successful in increasing
awareness about On-Bill Financing (OBF). OBF, working in
conjunction with other rebate and incentive programs, offers
eligible customers zero-percent financing for qualifying
energy-efficient business improvements. Some of these
Small Business California organized several meetings with
the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Department
of General Services (DGS) to address the OBF potential for
federal and state buildings in California.
California organized and attended meetings for all
California Investor Owned Utilities (IOU’s) to lay the
groundwork for possible statewide coordination of OBF
programs, especially “institutional” OBF program designs.
Our work with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
Energy Division on developing financing options for small
business users has informed the research they have been
conducting across the country.
California successfully organized support for appropriate
OBF related language to be included in the final ETAAC
Report, presented to the California Air Resource Board (CARB)
on February 28th.
In May, Small
Business California gave an OBF presentation, together with
Dennis O’Connor of Connecticut’s United Illuminating (via
teleconference) to the CPUC Energy Division. This effort
was favorably received and helped build the “champion base”
there for the consideration of how California IOUs respond
to the 2009 CPUC mandates for expansion of OBF.
California has continued to work with Connecticut’s United
Illuminating to help develop their capability in offering
their ENERNET (OBF Project Management) software for other
utilities to use.
On October 28th,
Small Business California presented our “2008 Energy
Leadership Award” to Frank Spasaro and Sempra Utilities so
as to raise the profile of OBF to the media and other
California filed Comments to the CPUC regarding the
2009-2011 IOU Energy Efficiency Program Applications. We
included the language from the latest CPUC ruling on OBF,
all OBF language from the IOU’s (our compilations vetted and
approved by each individual utility), in their 2009-2011
Application filings together with our comments and
California led an Esource teleconference with participants
Sempra Utilities, Connecticut’s United Illuminating and
National Grid. We worked extensively with Kim Knox from
Esource to finalize the Esource OBF Report based on the
transcript. The final report, for utility members from
Esource, was their most popular report as of November 2008.
2008, Small Business California made several presentations
on energy issues and financing opportunities. These
presentations included one to 30 business organizations in
Sacramento, one to the Pollution Prevention Conference held
in Monterey, one to a utility conference in Boston, and one
on behalf of the CARB regarding small business challenges
and opportunities as AB 32 develops.