Overview of the March 29 2022 Hearing

On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy (JEDE) and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 4 on State Administration will be convening an informational hearing to learn more about the state’s implementation of $1.18 billion in federal funding that it anticipates receiving under the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI).   

This hearing is part of a series of informational hearings the JEDE Committee has been holding which examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses, including women-owned and minority-owned businesses.  The Assembly Budget Subcommittee 4 has similarly emphasized the importance of COVID-19 resources serving all Californians, and where appropriate, targeting resoruces to ensure that women- and minority-owned businesses are not overlooked or underserved. 

Overview of the Hearing

Among the major recovery challenges facing California is how to address the uneven economic impacts of the pandemic on low-income communities, low-wage workers, and businesses owned by women and persons of color.  Implementing inclusive economic policies requires addressing not only current inequities, but also the historic underinvestment and unequal access to economic opportunities for these same population groups.  In addition to demographic disparities, there are too often geographic outlyers.  Data clearly shows that prior to the pandemic, many small business owners, workers, regions, and neighborhoods did not have access to the same economic opportunities of other groups and areas of the state.  Even with 120 straight months of economic growth, income disparities were generally increasing.  The COVID-19 pandemic merely amplified these economic and health disparities.  This excerpt from a March 2021 JEDE informational hearing includes specifics on pre-pandemic income inequality in California, which set the stage for current economic recovery challenges.

In 2021, the US Congress approved and the US President signed legislation to provide a second round of SSBCI funding to states.  Used wisely, these funds could serve as a catalyst for a more inclusive economic recovery.  As the Legislature transitions its policy focus from emergency response to economic recovery, it is important to reflect on the unintended outcomes from prior economic recovery and expansion efforts.  Achieving a more inclusive economy will also require addressing systemic barriers to entrepreneurship and upward mobility, as well as an openness to update programs and services to address current market needs. 

During the course of the hearing, Members will have an opportunity to learn more about the state's SSBCI application, hear from stakeholders, and ask questions regarding the state's deployment of SSBCI funds and other moneys to provide for a more inclusive economic recovery.

          Hearing Agenda          Witness Biographies       California SSBCI Summary      LAO Handout 

The hearing is comprised of three parts, followed by a public comment period, including a panel of experts, a case study of a successful small business service provider, and a rapid fire Q&A with small business owners and a community development corporation.  The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 pm and be completed by 3:30 pm.

Walk Through the Agenda

JEDE Chair Cervantes and Budget Sub4 Chair Carrillo will provide opening comments to help frame the hearing presentations and discussions.  JEDE Vice Chair Choi and other committee members will also have an opportunity to make opening remarks and set the stage for engagement with the witnesses.  From this point, the hearing is organized into three parts.

  • The first panel, "Overview of California’s SSBCI Proposal," will begin with an overview of the SSBCI program by Brian A. Weatherford with the Legislative Analyst's Office, which will be followed by a joint presentation from the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) and California Pollution Control Financing Authority (CPCFA) on the state’s current SSBCI application, including key implementation milestones and metrics for program evaluation.  Other areas to be discussed include how SSBCI-funded finance and investment programs will be aligned with other public and private resources to ensure that the state can both effectively deploy the funds and reach historically undercapitalized communities and business owners.

  • For the second part, there is scheduled a stakeholder panel, "SSBCI’s Potential Role in Creating More Inclusive Economic Growth," during which stakeholders will be sharing their perspective on best practices and models for preparing and supporting small businesses, microbusinesses, and budding entrepreneurs in accessing capital to start and expand their businesses.

  • The hearing will conclude with a 20 minute "Public Comment" period where stakeholders and members of the public may speak up to 2 minutes on the need for small business captial, provide other insights, and make recommendations for further legislative and budget action.  Written comments are encouraged and may be submitted up until 5:00 pm on April 15, 2022.

To Provide Public Comments  

The public and individuals representing organizations and businesses are encouraged to add their voices to this important dialogue.  Individuals interested in providing testimony during the public comment agenda item may call in through a toll-free phone number or attend in person through the Assembly Gallery, which is accessed through the third floor of the restored side of the Capitol.  

In addition to the public comment period during the hearing, written comments may be submitted through April 15, 2022.  Written submittals should be emailed to BudgetSub4@asm.ca.gov and jede@asm.ca.gov

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