Natalie couldn’t get a loan as a young entrepreneur. Opportunity Fund said yes to her experience and knowledge in the party supply business. Now as a repeat borrower, Universe Party Supply in Watsonville is set for more success.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.  This week, read about Natalie Angulo of Universe Party Supply in Watsonville. Natalie couldn’t get a loan as a young entrepreneur. Opportunity Fund said yes to her experience and knowledge in the party supply business. Now as a repeat borrower, Universe Party Supply in Watsonville is set for more success.

Getting the Party Started

Natalie Angulo has been in the party supply business for most of her life. It made sense for her to open her own party supply store in Watsonville when she turned 18. She started Universe Party Supply with her expertise in the business and with support from her family, but she didn’t always have the funding and administrative help she needed.

“I started at a really young age,” Natalie said. “Nobody believed I had my own business, even though I had all my identification and paperwork.”

Now 24, Natalie manages Universe Party Supply with the help of her cousin. Natalie’s two siblings also work in the store.

“It’s a family business,” she said. “My parents helped me build the business. My brothers and sisters go to school during the week and help on the weekends.”

Natalie manages the store and attends classes at Hartnell College in Salinas, working in shifts with her cousin who does the same work/school routine. She’s studying graphic design and business while preparing to transfer to San Jose State University and plans to run her business while finishing her degree.

Funding Small Business Owners

Natalie had trouble finding financing for her business, due to her very young age and no credit history as a new entrepreneur.  “Nobody wanted to lend me money,” she said. “They all assumed I had no chance of paying the loan back.”

Natalie’s father, Carlos, runs Galaxy Party Supply in Salinas. He became an Opportunity Fund small business borrower in 2013. Natalie recalls the day she learned about Opportunity Fund:

“We went to the Opportunity Fund office in San Jose where they offered a loan to my dad,” she said with a smile. “I qualified for my first loan after him.”

Opportunity Fund Loan consultant Laly Velazquez helped Natalie get her first loan of $3,000 in May 2013. She used the capital to expand her product offerings. “We started out making piñatas and selling candy,” she said. “After we made more money, we started renting out linens. Then we added party supplies and balloons.”

Natalie quickly paid off her loan and came back for two more loans: $4,900 in 2014 and $5,000 in 2016. Thanks to loan consultant Griselda Gil-Solis, Natalie got the additional money she needed to make Universe Party Supply a full-service party supply store with custom balloon decorations and jumper rental and set-up.

Natalie Angulo - Universe Party Supply

Natalie shares the fun with her loan consultant, Griselda-Gil Solis (photo courtesy of Heimo Schmidt)

Natalie has big plans as she continues to expand her business. She wants a bigger space for her store and to purchase another delivery van to help with balloon deliveries. She’ll call on Opportunity Fund again to get the capital she needs.

We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last fiscal year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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Selling online is a great way to grow your small business and expand your market to reach more customers. This short guide will help you decide how to plan your expansion, where to sell your products, and tips for running a successful online store.

Selling online is a great way to grow your small business and expand your market to reach more customers. This short guide will help you decide how to plan your expansion, where to sell your products, and tips for running a successful online store.

 

If your small business sells a product, chances are you’ve thought about selling online. Online retail is a huge opportunity to grow your customer base and improve sales for less cost than your brick-and-mortar store. Having an online sales presence will also retain customers who may not make a purchase at your store but change their mind later when they get home.

Selling online is not as scary as it may seem. Entrepreneurs already have the drive and know-how to run a business, and expanding your small business online is easier than the initial start-up process. These tips will help your business thrive in the vast world of online retail.

Get started with your business plan

Just as you should have a business strategy for your small business, you can carry that plan over to starting to sell online. Your target audience, offer, and goal is the same. The method and market is different.

A lot of planning is required to successfully expand your business online. You will need to decide if you have the time and capital to start selling on the internet. Take a look at this article by Entrepreneur that describes the benefits and  planning process for exploring ecommerce.

Decide where you will sell your products

The biggest decision when starting to sell online is what kind of platform you want to sell your products on. Typically there are three kinds of platforms: marketplaces, ecommerce, and self-hosted sites.

Marketplaces are third-party companies such as Etsy or Amazon. These companies allow you to sell your products through their website. You won’t have as much freedom or control about the look and feel of your small business’ product profiles, and you won’t have as much access to customer data. However, marketplaces take care of security, the payment process, and may even promote your products for you. Whether selling on a marketplace is the best fit for your business depends on your unique needs and time constraints.

Ecommerce platforms are web hosting companies, like Shopify, that act as a foundation for your online store. These sites offer more design freedom for how your shop looks like, detailed analytics for shop performance and traffic, and access to customer interaction—which allows your small business to develop relationships with customers after a sale. The drawback is that ecommerce platforms cost more than selling on a marketplace and require more time to draw in customers and technical skill to design an appealing storefront. Take a look at these free tools to customize your ecommerce store.

Self-hosted online stores are the most customizable and offer business owners the greatest freedom and control over how they sell their products. Setting up a website from scratch takes a lot of technical skill. If you don’t have the time to tackle such a big project yourself, consider hiring someone to develop your online store. If you want to try doing it yourself, these free tools can help you save money on web development.

Planning Checklist

Now that you’ve started thinking about how and where you’re going to sell your products online, make sure you plan for the following things. This short checklist will help you successfully expand your small business to sell online.

  • Create or modify your business website to include a sales section. Even if you are selling through an external marketplace or ecommerce site, having an eye-catching link directing your customers to your online store is important. Don’t hide your products.
  • Establish a social media and e-mail marketing strategy. Ecommerce depends on potential customers finding your small business through social media and search engines. Selling online is harder to attract customers because you don’t have foot traffic to drive sales. Create emails to engage with them after a purchase and keep them updated with new products and important news about your business. Consider Google Adwords if you have available capital.
  • Take good stock photos. Most advice for successfully running an online retail store is to have attractive photos of your products that are bright, clear, and show different angles. Take the time to learn the basics of photography or hire someone to take the photos.
  • Figure out packing and shipping ahead of time. Calculating shipping for each of your products can be complicated, especially if you offer combined or international shipping. Selling online requires a lot more supplies because every order needs an envelope or box and appealing wrapping.
  • Make sure you have the manpower. The internet is open for business 24/7. Make the commitment to manage the store and quickly fulfill orders or hire someone to manage the web store and quickly fill orders.  Your small business can only take full advantage of the opportunities selling online if you provide responsive customer service.

 

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable online tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable marketing resources.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable online tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five affordable marketing resources.

Marketing is vital to growing a business. In today’s digital world, it isn’t enough to rely on street traffic. Marketing your small business has expanded to include social media, blogging, email, online ads, and many other electronic methods. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you attract and retain customers to your small business.   

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: If you have a smartphone, you should check out Google’s new Primer app. As a small business owner, time is precious. Primer is an easy-to-read, completely free resource for learning how to market your business. It offers topics such as advertising, content creation, business strategy, and success measurement. These five-minute lessons will help you grow your business without breaking the bank on a specialized marketing team or spending hours trying to figure out marketing techniques from scratch.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Smartsheet offers a dozen free Excel templates that you can download for free. Among the different templates, you can find digital marketing, monthly marketing budget, social media editorial calendar, competitive analysis, and other templates that will help you organize your business. Creating a marketing strategy is important for growing and engaging with your small business’ audience, and using Excel spreadsheets is an easy way to effectively manage that strategy.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Advertising costs money, and small businesses like yours don’t have extensive marketing budgets like big corporations do. One way to compete for local business is through offering deals online through services like Living Social. How it works is that you work with Living Social to create an offer for customers. When someone purchases your deal, Living Social takes a small percentage for marketing your offer and pays you the rest. This is a great opportunity for small business to attract local customers without paying up-front costs unless you make a sale. Living Social also offers a free ebook for marketing basics.

 

How much it costs: Free with premium plans starting at $29 a month

What it does: If your business posts to social media—which it should—then you have probably shared links to other websites. The problem with this is that you might lose your potential customer if they don’t visit your website after checking out the link. Sniply offers a unique, easy-to-use tool that pops up a customizable button that visitors see when they visit a web page you link to. This helps drive traffic to your business’ website and increase sales opportunities. The free plan supports 1,000 clicks a month, and offers valuable tracking and analytics.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This resource is two-in-one — or a ten-in-one if you prefer! We have created two other lists of five free online tools that will help you market your small business. The two biggest aspects of digital marketing involve email and social media. Take a look at each blog post for marketing tools for scheduling newsletters, reaching out to customers, creating effective social media posts, expanding your target audience, and more.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Financing your small business is vital to success, and there are different ways to access credit. Our content partner Nav explains the difference between lines of credit and business credit cards and when to use which.

Financing your small business is vital to success, and there are different ways to access credit. Our content partner Nav.com explains the difference between lines of credit and business credit cards and when to use which.

As a business owner, one of your most valuable tools is access to credit. And like any job, you’ll be much better off when you select the right tool for your needs. Two of the most popular ways that a business can access credit is through a small business line of credit and a small business credit card. Take a look at how each type of credit works.

 

Business Line of Credit

You can apply for a small business line of credit from your local bank or from an online provider. A line of credit can be unsecured, or it can be secured by a lien on your assets or another financial instrument such as a certificate of deposit. Once established, you can draw from this line of credit by making a direct deposit to your checking account, or by using a debit card linked to the account. Your minimum monthly payment will be for interest charges only, which will be based on your average daily balance. You are free to pay off your balance and borrow again as often as you’d like.

The best time to use a business line of credit

Business lines of credit can be the best tool for the job when you need to make payments to suppliers who won’t accept credit cards, or who impose additional fees for credit card use. A business line of credit can also be used to pay existing bills by check or by cash, or when you simply don’t have a sufficient line of credit on your business credit cards.

Pros

  • Ability to write checks to pay billers that don’t accept credit cards.
  • Interest-only payments.
  • No cash advance fees.
  • Helps to build a credit history for your business.

Cons

  • No interest-free grace period.
  • Smaller lines of credit for new businesses.
  • No rewards or benefits.
  • May require collateral.

Cost range

A small business line of credit may have an opening fee of $150 or more. Some also have annual renewal fees or monthly maintenance fees. Interest will accrue only when you make purchases, generally about 8% to 35%, depending on the provider.

Credit considerations

You can qualify for a small business line of credit based on your personal credit, or you can use your personal credit along with your company’s income, provided it has been in business for over two years.

How to qualify

You can apply online or at your local bank. If using your business income or collateral, you will have to provide documentation.

 

Business Credit Card

A small business credit card will work almost exactly like a personal credit card does. You will use your personal credit to qualify, and it will represent an unsecured loan. As with your personal credit cards, you can avoid interest charges by paying your statement balances in full, giving you as long as 55 days of interest-free float on your charges (your 30-day statement period plus a grace period of up to 25 days; however, check with your issuer for specifics on your due date and grace period). Otherwise, you will incur interest charges on your average daily balance.

And just like your personal cards, you can receive rewards for your business spending in the form of points, miles, and cash back. In fact, a business credit card is more likely to offer bonus rewards for the types of purchases that businesses tend to make most, such as those from office supply stores, telecommunications service providers, and advertisers. Business credit cards can also offer a range of purchase protection and travel insurance benefits that can be valuable.

Best times to use a small business credit card

A small business credit card is an entirely different type of financial instrument than a line of credit, but there can be many advantages to using them. First, many business owners use their credit cards to earn valuable travel rewards or cash back. These rewards are considered a refund on a purchase and are not taxable income.

Also, business travelers can be protected by polices such as trip delay and cancellation insurance as well as lost luggage insurance, so long as they purchase their tickets with the business card. When making equipment purchases, you business credit card could offer you damage and theft protection, extended warranty coverage, and even a price protection policy that can refund the difference if your purchase goes on sale later. And when you are able to pay your entire statement balance in full each month, you can receive the equivalent of an interest-free, short-term line of credit.

Pros

  • Easy application process.
  • Earn valuable rewards.
  • Receive travel insurance and purchase protection benefits.
  • The option to have an interest-free grace period.

Cons

  • Cash advances are very expensive.
  • Not all billers accept credit cards.
  • Relies on your personal credit, not your company’s.

Cost range

Some business credit cards have no annual fee, while premium reward cards can have fees of up to $450. Most cards have annual fees of $95 or less.

Credit considerations

You must have good or excellent credit to obtain a small business credit card.

How to qualify

You can apply for a small business credit card online in just a few minutes.

 

This article originally appeared on Nav.com and was re-purposed with their permission.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Jesus built his e-waste recycling business with 20 years of experience in the field. Thanks to a small business loan from Opportunity Fund, he’s ready to expand his business.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.  This week, read about Jesus Gonzalez of JFG Electronics Recycling in San Jose. Jesus built his e-waste recycling business with 20 years of experience in the field. Thanks to a small business loan from Opportunity Fund, he’s ready to expand his business.

An Energized Business

Jesus Gonzalez started JFG Electronics Recycling in San Jose in 2010, after nearly 20 years in the e-waste recycling business. He used his expertise in the field and his connections in the recycling industry to get higher payouts, which has helped him build a solid customer base in the South Bay Area.

JFG Electronics Recycling buys and collects old components and electronics parts from residential and commercial customers for recycling and resale. They primarily work with people who pick up e-waste and other materials like scrap metal around residential areas, including undocumented workers. “I prefer to pay cash,” Jesus said. “It’s the best way to pay my clients.”

The business survived ups and downs in the market and a move to a larger facility outside of the downtown area. Jesus saw a need for business financing when his cash flow wasn’t as consistent as he needed, so he applied for a loan. His business banker at Bank of America couldn’t approve Jesus for a loan, but he did have a way to help the business.

He advised Jesus to call Opportunity Fund. Once Jesus had the phone number, he had the key to helping his business grow.

Future Expansion

Jesus started working with Opportunity Fund business development officer Shanna McClearn in January 2016. Shanna was able to get Jesus approved for a $20,000 loan. He cites the fast and easy process from loan application to funding as the main reason why he chose us over other lenders.

“I had the money in my account in about 20 days,” Jesus said. “I tried other lenders, but some said no. Others said to come back in a few months. Opportunity Fund said yes right away.”

JFG Recycling - Jesus Gonzalez

Our fast, easy-to-get, and affordable small business loans put a smile on Jesus’ face (Photo courtesy of Christian Peacock)

Jesus also appreciates the personal touch from Opportunity Fund, with Spanish-speaking loan funding specialists who are there to answer his questions and facilitate easy payments.

Now that Jesus has the working capital he needs, he’s looking toward the future of his company. Right now, he runs the business with his son and one other employee. Jesus wants to give his son more responsibility at JFG Recycling headquarters so he can go into the field and recruit more customers. He’s also looking to buy a truck to help expand his business.

“First I’m going to pay off my loan,” he said. “Then I can think of what to do next. I hope I can get a bigger loan so I can do more with my business.”

We’ll be there to help Jesus with our connection to easy-to-get, fast, and affordable business lending.

We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last fiscal year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Did you know your business has a six-digit code that classifies it by industry? Our content partner Nav explains what this code is, how it affects your small business, and how to change your code if it is incorrect.

Did you know your business has a six-digit code that classifies it by industry? Our content partner Nav.com explains what this code is, how it affects your small business, and how to change your code if it is incorrect.

 

NAICS codes are 6 digit codes that classify your company’s business into a particular business sector. Each digit marks a different classification for your business. The first two digits of your NAICS code signifies the major group or sector of an establishment. There are 20 different industry sectors that these two digits define. The last four digits are used to further classify subsectors, industry groups, industry types, and industry by nation.

NAICS codes are step up in a way that businesses can self identify under a certain code, but federal agencies who use NAICS codes may designate your business a code based on their own criteria.

For more on NAICS codes (and SIC codes, which NAICS codes replaced as the main classification system in 1997) see here.

Here are a few of the ways your NAICS code is used and how an incorrect NAICS code could affect you:

1. Determining the size of your business

The U.S. Small Business Administration sets size standards for what is considered a “small” business. The size of your business will determine whether or not you qualify for certain federal contracting opportunities.

Each industry, classified by its NAICS code, has a particular size standard. Size standards are usually measured by average annual receipts or average number of employees.

For example, if your business is a Soybean farm (NAICS code 111110), you are only considered “small” if your gross annual revenue less than $750,000. However, if you own a residential remodeling business (236118), your gross annual revenue can be up to $36.5M and you will still be a small business. A footwear manufacturer (316210) is small if they have less than 1,000 employees, but all wholesale traders (sector 42) are only small if they have less than 100 employees.

Here’s how a wrong NAICS code might affect you here: some similar NAICS codes have wildly different size standards. For example, a Recreational Goods Rental business (532292) has a cap of $7.5M, whereas a Truck, Utility Trailer, and RV (Recreational Vehicle) Rental and Leasing business (532120) has a $38.5M cap. If your current NAICS code disqualifies you from federal, local, or even private small business contracts when you could be bidding on contracts under another industry classification that better describes your product or service, you may want to consider changing your NAICS code.

2. To determine qualification for financing

Certain industries that are considered extremely high risk—such as pawn shops, political campaigns and gambling activities—will raise a huge red flag for lenders. Banks and alternative lenders will be looking at the NAICS codes of potential business borrowers to determine if they fall into one of these high risk industries. In fact, your NAICS code could make or break your ability to secure a loan from your best lending partner!

Let’s look at an example of how this might affect you: Local freight hauling was deemed one of the safest new business industries. A local freight hauling business would likely fall under the NAICS subsector 484 for Truck Transportation. One of the riskiest industries to start a business is passenger transportation, which would likely fall under NAICS subsector 485, or Ground Passenger Transportation. Although these two subsectors are so close in number, they have such different risk levels—one number could be the difference between a potential lender considering your application or trashing it from the get-go. When applying for a loan, make sure lenders are pulling the right NAICS code for your business.

3. Specific tax deductions

Federal and state agencies use NAICS codes for tax purposes, and your state Tax Department uses them to collect and analyze data related taxes and create reports regarding taxation issues. Your state government also uses NAICS codes to offer tax incentives to certain industries. Under the wrong NAICS code, you may be missing out on these incentives.

How to change your NAICS code

NAICS codes may seem trivial, but if you’re interested in government contracts, financing options, or certain tax incentives, they will be important for your business. You can check out all the NAICS codes here (there are tons of them!) to decide which one best describes your business activity.

You can view your NAICS code by visiting your scoreboards in the REPORTS tab of your Nav account. From there, you can view any of your full business credit reports to see both your NAICS and SIC codes. If you’re interested in changing your NAICS code that was issued to you by a federal agency, you can do so by contacting that federal agency. If your business credit report lists an incorrect SIC or NAICS code, use Nav’s CreditSweeper tool to begin the correction process.

 

This article originally appeared on Nav.com and was re-purposed with their permission.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

A new law mandating employee retirement savings went into effect earlier this year. While it’s likely that California Secure Choice will impact your business, you as a small business owner have resources that will help you provide proper retirement savings for your employees. Read more to learn about California Secure Choice and how to avoid scams that trap small business owners.

 

A new law mandating employee retirement savings went into effect earlier this year. While it’s likely that California Secure Choice will impact your business, you as a small business owner have resources that will help you provide proper retirement savings for your employees. Read more to learn about California Secure Choice and how to avoid scams that trap small business owners.

Why California Secure Choice Matters for California Employers and Workers

Did you know that 7.5 million Californians currently work for employers that do not offer a retirement savings plan? Of those 7.5 working Californians, 66% work for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and 66% are workers of color—over half of which are Latinos.

California State Treasurer John Chiang helped create the California Secure Choice Program, which went into effect January 2017. The legislation requires employers with five or more employees to offer a retirement savings option for their workers. Here’s what you need to know about the new legislation and how to protect your business from scams claiming you must enroll right away.

California Secure Choice: Get the Facts

Although California Secure Choice is now law, it is not yet fully operational. The requirements for employers will not go into effect until the Secure Choice program is fully operational.

Depending on the number of employees you employ, you may have to up three years to put this program in place for your employees.

The goal is for California Secure Choice to begin operations is sometime in 2018, then be phased in over a three year period:

  • Employers with 100 or more employees that do not offer a retirement plan will be required to provide a retirement plan or access to Secure Choice in 2019.
  • Employers with more than 50 employees will be mandated to participate within two years after the program is open for enrollment, likely in 2020.
  • Within 36 months all employers with less than 50 employees will be required to participate, likely in 2021.

Many employer safeguards are built into the program. Key safeguards for employers include:

  • No liability for an employee’s decision to participate in, or opt out of, the Program
  • No liability for the investment decisions of participating employees
  • No responsibility for the administration, investment, or investment performance of the Program

Read this information from John Chiang, California State Treasurer and lead legislator on the new policy, for more employer safeguards.

For-Profit Companies Targeting Business Owners

Some for-profit payroll and lending companies might be telling you that you must comply with California Secure Choice legislation right away. They use the new legislation to pressure you into buying their services to aid with retirement savings plan implementation.

The California State Treasurer’s office is urging any California business owner or employer to immediately contact their office at elawyer@sto.ca.gov if told they must comply with California Secure Choice requirements right away. Do not allow a vendor to pressure you into retirement savings services based on California Secure Choice requirements—you have rights to protect your business!

We’re here to provide you with the real deal on this new legislation and share ways for you to get help. Please consult these sources for background on California Secure Choice, more information on employer requirements, and who to contact for questions.

Background information on California Secure Choice legislation

California Secure Choice on California Department of the Treasury website


For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last fiscal year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Opportunity Fund. Working Capital for Working People. opportunityfund.org