Today's Law As Amended

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AB-2687 Office of Small Business.(2017-2018)

As Amends the Law Today
As Amends the Law on Nov 08, 2018


 Section 12098 of the Government Code is amended to read:

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that:
(1) Small businesses serve as economic engines to the California economy by being the most effective net new job generators, supporting California’s access to global markets, serving as a key tool for supporting upward mobility, and helping to distribute economic benefits throughout the state.
(2) It is in the public interest to aid, counsel, assist, and protect, insofar as is possible, the interests of small business concerns in order to preserve free competitive enterprise and maintain a healthy state economy.
(b) In order to advocate the causes of small business and to provide small businesses with the information they need to survive in the marketplace, there is created within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development the Office of Small Business Advocate, which shall be led by the Small Business Advocate.
(c) The Small Business Advocate shall be considered an advisor on key issues before the state, and the inclusion of the Small Business Advocate in cabinet- and department-level discussions that potentially impact small businesses is encouraged.

SEC. 2.

 Section 12098.3 of the Government Code is amended to read:

 (a) The Small Business Advocate shall be appointed by, and shall serve at the pleasure of, the Governor.
(b) The Governor shall appoint the employees who are needed to accomplish the purposes of this article.
(c) The duties and functions of the advocate shall include all of the following:
(1) Serve as the principal advocate in the state on behalf of small businesses, including, but not limited to, advisory participation in the consideration of all legislation and administrative regulations that affect small businesses, and advocacy on state policy and programs related to small businesses.
(2) Represent the views and interests of small businesses before other state agencies whose policies and activities may affect small business.
(3) Enlist the cooperation and assistance of public and private agencies, businesses, and other organizations in disseminating information about the programs and services provided by state government that are of benefit to small businesses, and information on how small businesses can participate in, or make use of, those programs and services.
(4) Consult with experts and authorities in the fields of small business investment, venture capital investment, and commercial banking and other comparable financial institutions involved in the financing of business, and with individuals with regulatory, legal, economic, or financial expertise, including members of the academic community, and individuals who generally represent the public interest.
(5) Seek the assistance and cooperation of all state agencies and departments providing services to, or affecting, small business, including the small business liaison designated pursuant to Section 14846, to ensure coordination of state efforts.
(6) Receive and respond to complaints from small businesses concerning the actions of state agencies and the operative effects of state laws and regulations adversely affecting those businesses.
(7) Counsel small businesses on how to resolve questions and problems concerning the relationship of small business to state government.
(8) Collaborate with the Office of Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Services in their activities under the Small Business Procurement and Contract Act (Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 14835) of Part 5.5), including, but not limited to, promoting small business certification and undertaking reasonable means to assist state agencies in improving small business participation. Among other activities, the advocate shall maintain, publicize, and distribute an annual list of persons serving as small business ombudsperson throughout state government.

SEC. 3.

 Section 12098.4 of the Government Code is amended to read:

 (a) Each agency of the state shall furnish to the advocate the reports, documents, and information that are public records and that the advocate deems necessary to carry out his or her functions under this chapter.
(b) The advocate shall prepare and submit a written annual report to the Governor and to the Legislature that describes the activities and recommendations of the office, including an evaluation of the efforts of state agencies and, where appropriate, specific departments, that significantly regulate small businesses to assist minority and other small business enterprises, and making recommendations that may be appropriate to assist the development and strengthening of minority and other small business enterprises.
(c) (1) The advocate may establish a centralized interactive telephone referral system and Internet Web site to assist small and minority businesses in their operations, including governmental requirements, such as taxation, accounting, and pollution control, and to provide information concerning the agency from which more specialized assistance may be obtained.
(2) The advocate shall post on the GO-Biz Internet Web site or the advocate’s Internet Web site:
(A) Information on how to receive assistance in identifying and understanding the state’s regulatory requirements. This information shall include:
(i) The name, telephone number, Internet Web site, and email of the small business liaison designated pursuant to Section 11148.5 to assist small businesses with understanding and adhering to the regulatory requirements of the state entities in which they serve.
(ii) The Internet Web site developed and maintained by GO-Biz to identify licensing, permitting, and registration requirements of state agencies, pursuant to the requirements of Section 12097.1
(B) Information on how to receive assistance in certifying as a small business and identifying and participating in state procurement opportunities. This information shall include:
(i) The name, telephone number, Internet Web site, and email of the small business advocate designated pursuant to Section 14846 to assist small businesses in contracting with the state entities in which they serve.
(ii) Contact information for the Office of Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Services established pursuant to Section 14839.
(C) Information about emergency preparedness, responses to emergencies, and recovery strategies for small businesses. This information shall be developed and updated in consultation with relevant state agencies and emergency responders.
(D) A link to the Energy Upgrade California Internet Web site to assist small business owners in accessing information on the availability of various programs promoting the efficient use of energy.
(E) Information on programs administered through the statewide network of small business financial development corporations. Programs covered shall include loan guarantees, direct lending, surety bond guarantees, and disaster loans. Information shall be presented in a manner appropriate to address the needs of both small businesses and existing and potential financial institutions and financial companies.
(F) Information on how to identify and access services provided through the statewide network of small business technical assistance centers, including, but not limited to, small business development centers, women business centers, veteran business outreach centers, procurement technical assistance centers, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

SEC. 4.

 Section 12098.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

 In addition to his or her other responsibilities under this article, the advocate shall do the following:
(a) Be prepared for designation by the Office of Emergency Services to serve as an official liaison between small businesses impacted by a state-declared state of emergency and other government and nonprofit service providers.
(b) Assist in the state emergency recovery, response, and preparedness efforts related to small businesses, including microenterprises. The advocate’s efforts shall be coordinated and consistent with the Office of Emergency Services, the California Emergency Services Act, and the State of California Emergency Plan.
(c) Conduct at least one public meeting every year, in coordination with the appropriate state agencies, to share best practices for small business disaster preparedness. The meetings shall be held in consultation with regional and statewide small business organizations and shall take place in different locations throughout the state.

SEC. 5.

 Section 12098.8 of the Government Code is repealed.

SEC. 6.

 Section 12098.9 of the Government Code is repealed.