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AB-1573 Small business technical assistance: California Business Retention Program.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/20/2021 09:00 PM
AB1573:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 20, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1573


Introduced by Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy

March 04, 2021


An act to add Section 12098.9 to amend Sections 12100.62 and 12100.63 of the Government Code, relating to small business.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1573, as amended, Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy. Small business technical assistance: California Business Retention Program.
Existing law, until January 1, 2024, establishes the California Small Business Development Technical Assistance Expansion Program of 2018 within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, also known as GO-Biz, for the purpose of assisting small businesses through free or low-cost one-on-one consulting and low-cost training by entering into grant agreements with one or more federal small business technical assistance centers.
This bill, among other things, would add the definition of “small business technical assistance center,” which means federal small business technical assistance centers or local governments, or tax exempt nonprofit community-based organizations with a mission that includes economic or business development that operates entrepreneurial or small business development programs that provide free or low-cost services to underserved businesses and entrepreneurs, thereby expanding the scope of those entities eligible for grants under the program. The bill would provide the funding requirements applicable to an applicant that is not a federally contracted small business technical assistance center.
This bill would create, upon appropriation of the necessary funds by the Legislature, a supplemental grant program designated as the Small Business Retention Program. The bill would require GO-Biz to establish the program to provide grants to small business technical assistance centers for the purpose of supporting the retention of small businesses by leveraging the state’s economic development and small business technical assistance providers, as provided.
The bill would also make conforming changes.

Existing law establishes the Office of Small Business Advocate within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, also known as GO-Biz, and prescribes the duties and functions of the Small Business Advocate, who is also the Director of the Office of Small Business Advocate. Among these duties, the director is to serve as the principal advocate in the state on behalf of small businesses and to represent the views and interests of small businesses before other state agencies, the policies and activities of which may affect small businesses.

This bill would create the California Business Retention Program, within the office, to support the retention of small businesses by leveraging the state’s economic development and small business technical assistance providers. The bill would require the program to include, among other things, grant funding to support regional and local business retention programs. The bill would also require the office to publish an annual report on its internet website, and notify the Legislature when the report is available.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 12100.62 of the Government Code is amended to read:

12100.62.
 Unless the context otherwise requires, the following definitions in this section shall govern the construction of this article:
(a) “California Small Business Development Center Program” is comprised of the five regional networks of small business development centers operating in the state pursuant to a cooperative agreement between the fiscal agent and the federal Small Business Administration.
(b) “Committed nonstate local cash match” means funding awarded by a nonstate local source to a federal small business technical assistance center through a letter of intent, notice of award, or cash deposit.
(c) “Director” means the Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
(d) “Federal small business technical assistance center” means an organization that contracts with a federal funding partner to operate a small business development center, a women’s business center, a veterans business outreach center, a manufacturing extension partnership center, a minority business development center, a procurement technical assistance center, or a similar program within this state to support small businesses.
(e) “Federal funding partner” means the federal Small Business Administration, federal Department of Commerce, federal Department of Defense, or any other federal agency with the authority to administer a small business technical assistance program in this state.
(f) “Fiscal agent” means the entity with which a federal funding partner contracts to administer small business technical assistance programs within a state or district. The fiscal agent shall be directly accountable to the federal funding partner for all aspects of the specified small business technical assistance program, including staffing, programming, outreach, securing any required matching funds to draw down federal funds, or other public or private funds, and reporting performance outcomes to operate the program in the fiscal agent’s area of responsibility.
(g) “GO-Biz” or “office” means the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
(h) “Local cash match” means nonfederal funds that are spent on eligible program costs.
(i) “Manufacturing extension partnership center” means a California contractor recognized by the federal National Institute of Standards and Technology pursuant to the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-418), at which small manufacturers can obtain information and assistance on new technology acceleration, supply chain management, lean processing, export development, sustainable manufacturing practices, and other issues related to innovation.
(j) “Minority business development agency center” means an entity or physical location, recognized by the federal Department of Commerce, from which a minority-owned small business may receive consulting and technical services to expand to new markets, both foreign and domestic.
(k) “Minority business development agency export center” means an entity or physical location, recognized by the federal Department of Commerce, from which a minority-owned small business may receive consulting and technical services to increase access to capital, contracts, and foreign markets.
(l) “Procurement act” means Chapter 142 (commencing with Section 2411) of Part IV of Subtitle A of Title 10 of the United States Code, which governs the Procurement Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreement program, administered by the federal Department of Defense.
(m) “Procurement technical assistance center” means an entity or physical location, recognized by the federal Department of Defense, from which a small business owner may receive free training on a variety of topics, including starting, operating, and expanding a small business.
(n) “Program” means the California Small Business Development Technical Assistance Expansion Program of 2018 created pursuant to Section 12100.63 and administered in accordance with this article.
(o) “Small business act” means the Small Business Development Center Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-302), and any amendments to that act, which authorizes the Small Business Development Center Program, administered by the federal Small Business Administration.
(p) “Small business development center” means to an entity or physical location, recognized by the federal Small Business Administration, from which a small business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur may receive free one-on-one consulting and low at-cost training on a variety of topics, including starting, operating, and expanding a small business.
(q) “Small business technical assistance center” means a federal small business technical assistance center or local government, or any established nonprofit community-based organization, exempt from federal income taxation pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the mission of which includes economic or business development that operates entrepreneurial or small business development programs that provide free or low-cost services to California’s underserved businesses and entrepreneurs.

(q)

(r) “Veteran’s business act” means Section 657b of Title 15 of the United States Code, which establishes the Office of Veterans Business Development and governs veteran business outreach centers, administered by the federal Small Business Administration.

(r)

(s) “Veterans business center” means an entity or physical location, recognized by the federal Small Business Administration, from which a small business veteran owner or an aspiring veteran entrepreneur can receive free one-on-one consulting and low at-cost training on a variety of topics including starting, operating, and expanding a small business.

(s)

(t) “Women’s business act” means the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-533), and any amendments to that act, administered by the federal Small Business Administration.

(t)

(u) “Women’s business center” means an entity or physical location, recognized by the federal Small Business Administration, from which a small business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur can receive free one-on-one consulting and low at-cost training on a variety of topics including starting, operating, and expanding a small business.

SEC. 2.

 Section 12100.63 of the Government Code is amended to read:

12100.63.
 (a) The California Small Business Technical Assistance Expansion Program is hereby created within the office.
(b) The program shall be under the direct authority of the director.
(c) The purpose of the program is to assist small businesses through free or low-cost one-on-one consulting and low-cost training by entering into grant agreements with one or more federal small business technical assistance centers.
(d) In implementing the program, the office shall consult with local, regional, federal, and other state public and private entities that share a similar mission to support the needs of small businesses in California.
(e) An applicant pursuant to this article shall be a federal small business technical assistance center operating as a group, including a regional or statewide network, or as an individual center.
(1) A federal small business technical assistance center operating as a group consisting of centers organized under a coordinating administrative or fiscal entity shall apply by submitting a single consolidated application to the office.
(2) A federal small business technical assistance center operating as an individual center shall apply by submitting a single application for that center to the office.
(f) The office shall administer the program to provide grants to expand the capacity of small business development technical assistance programs in California, administered by and primarily funded by federal agencies, agencies or, upon a supplemental appropriation pursuant to subdivision (j), shall include local governments and other nonprofit small business technical assistance centers that provide one-on-one confidential consulting and training to small businesses and entrepreneurs in this state. An applicant shall be eligible to participate in the program if the office determines that the applicant meets all of the following criteria:
(1) (A) At the time of applying for funds, the applicant has an active contract with a federal funding partner to administer a program in this state, or has received a letter of intent from a federal funding partner to administer a federal small business technical assistance center program in this state within the next fiscal year.
(B) Alternatively, if the applicant is not a federally contracted small business technical assistance center, the applicant shall document a public or private funding source to provide a match of grant dollars.
(2) (A) (i) The applicant provided a plan of action and commitment to fully draw down all of the federal funds available using local cash match and state funds not described in Section 12100.65 during the duration of the award period. GO-Biz may request that the applicant provide details relating to the source and amount of these nonstate local match funds.
(ii) Alternatively, if the applicant is not a federally contracted small business technical assistance center, the applicant shall present a plan of action for drawing down the required match using nonstate funds.
(iii) The office may request that the applicant provide details relating to the source and amount of these nonstate local match funds.
(B) If the applicant is a new federal small business technical assistance center, the applicant has demonstrated the ability to fully draw down substantially all federal funds available to it.
(3) The requested funding amount does not exceed the total federal award specified in the contract with the federal funding partner contract, contract or the local match sources specified in clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2), but in any event is no less than twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000).
(4) The applicant seeks funding for one or more years, but no more than five years in duration.
(5) The grant agreements authorized by this article are not subject to the model contract provisions developed pursuant to Chapter 14.27 (commencing with Section 67325) of Part 40 of Division 5 of Title 3 of the Education Code.
(6) The applicant has a fiscal agent that is able to receive nonfederal funds.
(g) The office shall issue a request for proposal for grants under the program, which may contain the following information:
(1) The eligibility requirements described in subdivision (e).
(2) The available funding range.
(3) Funding instruments.
(4) The local cash match requirement described in subdivision (f).
(5) Operational capacity.
(6) The duration of the program.
(7) The start date of the program.
(8) Narrative requirements.
(9) Reporting requirements.
(10) Required attachments.
(11) Submission requirements.
(12) Application evaluation criteria.
(13) An announcement of an awards timeline.
(h) (1) The office shall evaluate applications received based on the following factors:
(A) The proposed use of the requested funding, including the specificity, measurability, and ability of the applicant to document and achieve the goals and objectives identified in its application.
(B) The proposed management strategy of the applicant to achieve its goals and objectives identified in its application.
(C) The applicant’s ability to complement and leverage the work of other local, state, federal, nonprofit, or private business technical assistance resource providers.
(D) The applicant’s historical performance with federal funding partner contracts or other public or private funding sources and the strength of its fiscal controls.
(2) The office shall prioritize funding for applications that best meet the factors listed in paragraph (1) and give preference to applications that propose new or enhanced services to underserved business groups, including women, minority, and veteran-owned businesses, and businesses in low-wealth, rural, and disaster-impacted communities included in a state or federal emergency declaration or proclamation.
(i) State funds provided pursuant to the program shall be used to expand consulting and training services through existing and new centers, including satellite offices. State funds provided pursuant to the program shall not supplant nonstate local cash match dollars included in a federal small business technical assistance center’s plan described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (f). (f) or in any nonfederal small business technical assistance center’s plan.
(j) (1) Subject to appropriation of the necessary funds by the Legislature, a supplemental grant program designated as the Small Business Retention Program shall be established by the office to provide grants as described in this subdivision. Eligible applicants shall be a small business technical assistance center.
(2) The purpose of the Small Business Retention Program is to support the retention of small businesses by leveraging the state’s economic development and small business technical assistance providers.
(3) Grant funding shall do both of the following:
(A) Support regional and local small business retention programs.
(B) Expand the network of small business technical assistance centers that collectively contribute their on-the-ground experience to an early warning system to alert the office and other state, federal, and local partners of trending business challenges and individual negative business outcomes.
(4) The office shall prioritize funding for applications that meet the same preferences as identified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (h).
(5) Grantees shall report processes and outcomes consistent with the California Small Business Technical Assistance Expansion Program of 2018.

SECTION 1.Section 12098.9 is added to the Government Code, to read:
12098.9.

(a)There is hereby established within the office a California Business Retention Program in order to support the retention of small businesses by leveraging the state’s economic development and small business technical assistance providers.

(b)The program shall include all of the following:

(1)Grant funding to support regional and local business retention programs.

(2)Establishment of an early warning system for network partners to alert the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and other state, federal, and local partners of trending business challenges and individual negative business outcomes.

(3)(A)Eligible applicants include federally and state designated small business technical assistance providers, chambers of commerce, economic development nonprofits, and local governments.

(B)Applicants serving historically underserved business owners and low-income neighborhoods shall be given priority.

(c)The office shall publish an annual report on its internet website regarding the program, and notify the Legislature when the report is available.