CAMEO Initiates Campaign to Help Unemployed BYOB-Be Their Own Boss! and Start Their own Small Business!

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This Labor Day CAMEO, the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity, wants to celebrate by recognizing those people who are employed by their own sweat and hard work, the self-employed who create their own small businesses.

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We initiated the Help Unemployed BYOB campaign, because California’s unemployment rate continues to remains high, higher than the national average. If the unemployed can’t find a job, they can create their own.

The workforce is changing. Climbing the corporate ladder is no longer a sure thing. Self-employment is a labor market trend and has grown by 28 percent from 2003-2008, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The federal government has recognized this trend by passing a $35 million Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) Program that was tucked into the payroll tax-unemployment extension bill passed in March of this year.

The federal government has set aside $35 million for states to implement a SEA program and help unemployed become their own boss and start their own small business. If California implements a program it will receive at least $5.3 million in federal money.

Under the SEA program, unemployed workers will be able to receive or maintain their unemployment insurance benefits while they start their own small businesses – a full-time job in its own right – without having to look for other full-time work. Currently, in California this is not the case.

“We initiated the Help Unemployed BYOB campaign, because California’s unemployment rate continues to remains high, higher than the national average,” said Claudia Viek, C.E.O. of CAMEO. “If the unemployed can’t find a job, they can create their own. California needs to apply for these federal funds and train the unemployed to become their own boss.”

California has had double digit unemployment for more than three years. In this time of persistent high unemployment, we need to do everything we can to encourage job creation. We must recognize and embrace the fact that self-employment creates at least one job per start-up that is for the owner, and creates jobs for others over time.

Social media will play a crucial role to raise awareness about the importance of helping the unemployed create their own job. The first step in the campaign is drive supporters to the Help Unemployed BYOB-Be Their Own Boss campaign page where they can sign a petition that will be delivered to Governor Brown and the California legislature. The campaign will use other tools as necessary to convince the state to apply for the program.

To get funds to operate SEA, the California legislature needs to pass a bill and our Governor Jerry Brown needs to support it. California leaders have the opportunity to assist the unemployed to become self-employed, create jobs, and reduce the unemployment rolls – all at the same time.

About CAMEO
CAMEO’s mission is to grow a healthy, vibrant, thriving environment for all entrepreneurs and start-up businesses by advancing the work of our statewide member network – the over 160 organizations, agencies and individuals dedicated to furthering the fortunes of micro-businesses in California. Our vision is to create economic opportunity for all entrepreneurs, to build wealth and strong California communities.

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Heidi PIckman
CAMEO
415-992-4484
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Shufina English

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