May 2020 newsletter
President's Message
Greetings #NAWBOcommunity,
We hope this email finds you and yours safe, well, and resilient. By now many of you, like me, have made some (or many) changes in your business to cope with this ever-changing business landscape. Our board member Schenae Rourk mentioned a phrase that sticks with me: be fluid and flexible . I have been more fluid and flexible than I ever thought possible — with restructuring my firm, in advising our clients through situations they’ve never had before, in taking care of my family (almost all back again under one roof), and in internalizing the non-stop news stories full of stats, sad statistics, and learning curves of COVID-speak. Being fluid and flexible is what will get us through this. 
In conversations with our board members, I am hearing that many of our members are busier than ever, perhaps even thriving in their businesses right now. I hope that is the case with all of you reading this letter. If it isn’t, and you’re struggling, please reach out to your local chapter, our board members, or me and we’ll get you the resources to move you in a better direction. We’re here for you. 
Speaking of resources, there is a great one created by Jesse Torres and Sid Voorakkara, principals of their respective economic development consulting firms ArroyoWest LLC and Ten Page Memo, LLC.  Jesse and Sid held leadership roles under California Governor Brown's Administration at the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development. It’s well-organized and easy to navigate:
Information is power, and also informs our advocacy efforts. So thank you to those of you who took our poll early last month. Here are the topline results:
  • 70% of you have experienced the impact of the novel coronavirus on your businesses
  • 71.43% of you noticed a decline in business (with over 85% of your clients mentioning coronavirus as the reason for their lack of business)
  • 42.86% of you expect a continued decline in business, while 43% said it was too early to tell
  • 42.86% of you said that as a result of novel coronavirus, you changed your business practices
  • 14.29% of you have temporarily laid off staff
  • 28.57% are reducing expenses
  • 14% are cutting your own hours 
Relevantly, we also have a Snap Poll that NAWBO National took last month, here are those results: of the members surveyed who applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), or an Emergency EIDL grant as of April 21 st :
  • approximately 51% of applicants had not received the PPP Loan,
  • approximately 93% of applicants have not received the EIDL Loan, and
  • approximately 78% of applicants have not received the Emergency EIDL grant.
We Need to Know What Your Situation is Now
What your needs are, and how we can get our seats at whatever tables we need to be at to get you what you need. Please spend about 10 minutes to take this updated survey.
Small Business & Innovative Startups Recovery Working Group
NAWBO-CA has been invited to participate in the Small Business & Innovative Startups Recovery Working Group for the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA). It assists California’s economic disaster recovery, response and preparedness efforts related to small businesses. 
The Small Business & Innovative Startups Recovery Working Group will provide a forum to voice the important issues that affect small businesses and startups. We hope to drive research and data sharing, provide advice and ideas that can help California and its current and future small businesses and startups recover from the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Our work will be shared with, and help inform, our leaders on the Governor’s Task Force on Jobs and Business Recovery.
NAWBO-CA looks forward to serving on this committee to help our state’s small businesses and startups meet the moment and find ways to pivot, adapt, innovate and recover. 
We are envisioning and taking the first steps towards repositioning our small businesses to once again thrive in the fifth largest economy in the world.
Propel is going virtual this year (what a surprise, right?). It’s a full day virtual conference of session blocks, activities, and networking on relevant, needed topics. Creatively reenvisioned, thanks to my astute co-chair Vikita Poindexter and our talented planner partner (and WBO) Summer Sepulveda and her firm Joy Experience. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, July 29 . Visit   for updated info. Registration is open! Hope to see you there!
I look forward to hearing from you, and stay fluid and flexible, my #NAWBOcolleagues!

Hilary Lentini

- President, NAWBO-CA
- Past President, NAWBO-LA
- Founder & Creative Director, Lentini Design & Marketing, Inc.; DBE, WBE, SBE, SB, SLB, EBE, VSBE
- Governor-Appointed Board Member, California Workforce Development Board
Board Leadership Continuity Training
May 15, 2020
10am-11am via Zoom

Join us on Friday to discuss leadership continuity. Chapter leaders should have received a meeting invite with the Zoom details. If you have not received the meeting notice, please contact Andrea at
Woman Business Owner of the Year
Time to Nominate your WBO of the Year!

Your Chapter Nominee for WBO of the Year is Needed by Monday, May 25 . This is your chance to hold up the woman from your chapter who is a clear leader in her business growth and community and NAWBO support throughout the years. The sweet news here is that each nominee should be able to make the event…since they can participate from their own homes! The nomination form is here . One per chapter. Please send to by May 12. We have simplified the form this year:

1.    To earn this prestigious award, please explain what this woman has done in each of these areas:
  • Business building Acumen/experience
  • Outreach to the community and social impact
  • Contribution to NAWBO
  • Distinctive leadership traits
  • Support to other Women Business Owners

2.    Who else may we contact for more information about your nomination?

3.    Has the attendance of your nominee at the conference been confirmed? (They receive a complimentary invite to Propel so we are hoping this is an easy year for all nominees to participate.)

I’m very excited to honor these successful women in our new virtual format for 2020. And I want to extend extra kudos to IE for being the first to send in their nomination!

Mindy Bortness
Communication Works, Inc./Immediate Past-President NAWBO-CA
Advocacy Committee Update

By Reenie Lane, Director of Public Policy and Lori Kammerer, Legislative Advisor

The California legislature is back in full swing after a two month shutdown and recess, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Assembly returned to work on May 4th and the Senate reconvened a week later on May 11th. We are moving at light speed this session since the legislature must adjourn at midnight on August 31st, leaving very little time for committees to meet and bills to be heard in their policy committee. Senate and Assembly leadership are requiring that all members “pair down and prioritize” their bill loads for the remainder of the session, so many bills of interest will be introduced again in January. For now, policy committees in both houses will hold one hearing. 

SB 873, SB 1142, SB 826
There are several bills of interest that will not move forward this session. SB 873 (Jackson) on gender pricing also known as the “Pink Tax” will not be taken up this year. The Senator had several district bills that took priority over her other favorite measures, including SB 1142 (Jackson) that would have provided technical clean-up and clarification to NAWBO-CA’s sponsored SB 826 (Jackson) that adds a woman to the Board of publicly traded corps HQ’d in California. The Senator’s term ends this year, so we will be looking for another author carry the torch on these two bills. 

ACA 5 (Repeal Prop 209); NAWBO-CA Represented on ACA 5 Legislative Committee
NAWBO-CA was asked by Assemblymember Weber to support her ACA 5 that would repeal Prop 209 and prohibit the state from discriminating against women and others in state employment opportunities, including public contracting. ACA 5 passed the Assembly Public Employment and Retirement Committee on a 6-1 vote and is heading to Assembly Appropriations for consideration. This bill will likely be heard in mid-June.  NAWBO-CA’s board member Lori Kammerer was asked to serve on the ACA 5 Legislative Committee.

AB 1850 (Clean-up Bill to AB 5)
Assembly Bill 1850, clean-up legislation for AB 5 on independent contractors was amended Tuesday night to add the following exemptions: The referral agency exemption defines “referral agency” as a business that connects clients with specific listed service providers, including tutors and adding youth sports coaching as a listed service provider. Exemptions include: photographers, photojournalists, freelance writers, editors, and newspaper cartoonists who do not license or provide content submissions more than 35 times annually.

Additionally, AB 1850 adds an exemption for a specialized performer hired by a performing arts company or organization to teach a master class, as defined, for no more than one week, and an appraiser. Existing exemptions include a person or organization licensed by the Department of Insurance. Added exemptions include someone who provides underwriting inspections, premium audits, risk management or loss control work for the insurance industry. 

This bill would additionally exempt an individual who is engaged by an international exchange visitor program and a competition judge with a specialized skill set or expertise providing services that require the exercise of discretion and independent judgment to an organization for the purposes of determining the outcome of a competition. The bill would additionally exempt certain occupations in connection with creating, marketing, promoting, or distributing sound recordings or musical compositions. 

Executive Order, SB 1159, AB 196, AB 664
The Governor issued an Executive Order on May 6th that would establish a rebuttable presumption for illnesses suffered by employees who, under the direction of their employer, test positive or contract COVID while at their place of work to be covered under the workers’ compensation system. The EO covers illnesses reported on or after March 19th and expires on July 5th. It is important to note that employees who are working at home while sheltering in place will not be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. 

The Governor issued the EO to set the stage for his administration’s policy in dealing with work-related illnesses during the pandemic and while his shelter in place EO is still in effect before the Assembly and Senate moved to amend bills dealing with this issue. There are several bills moving that pertain to the Governor’s EO on work-related illnesses. SB 1159, co-authored by Senator Jerry Hill and Assemblymember Tom Daly that mirrors the Governor’s EO in creating a rebuttable presumption for COVID illnesses that would be covered under the workers’ compensation system. Both members chair the policy committees where the bills will be heard. 

Additionally, AB 196 (Gonzalez, author of AB 5 on independent contractors) and AB 664 (Cooper) have been amended to mandate a “conclusive presumption” that would eliminate an employer’s ability to contest whether the workers’ compensation claim arose out of the employee’s course of employment or arose out of the course of employment (AOE/COE). Specifically, under AB 196 and AB 664, every workers’ comp claim filed by an employee while at work would be a covered claim. In the case of a “rebuttable” presumption, the burden of proof would be on the employee to prove that they contracted the virus while physically at work.

Even though legislators are limiting their bill portfolios, we can expect to see additional bills of interest surface in the next few weeks.
Propel 2020 Virtual
Women in Power…

open doors
create opportunity
create change

Now more than ever we need to leverage our power to bring the future we want, need, and envision. This year’s 2020 Propel Virtual will be a full day session on Wednesday, July 29 .

Visit  for more information and to register today.
Member News
State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced the newest members of the Insurance Diversity Task Force - including Vikita Poindexter, NAWBO-CA President Elect and President of Poindexter Consulting Group, LLC. Vikita and her task force colleagues will makes recommendations to the Insurance Commissioner on innovative ways to increase diversity within the insurance industry.

NAWBO-Ventura County and Vision 2020 Ventura County aren't letting COIVD-19 stop them from celebrating Woman's Equality Day on August 26! Dawn Dyer, President of Dyer Sheehan Group, Inc. and a  CA Delegate for Vision 2020 National Women's Equality Initiative announce A Toast for Tenacity: a virtual celebration of the Centennial of the 19th Amendment and women's right to vote! Learn more here .
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