Senator Curren D. Price, Jr. is an influential voice in California advocating for small business enterprises. His mission is to protect innovative small businesses and advance policies to support small business start-ups, job-creation, expansion, investment and entrepreneurship. In recognition of his advocacy, Senator Price has been honored by a cross section of state and local organizations representing business, labor and consumer advocates.
Prior to his election to the Legislature, Senator Price served as a consultant to the SBA’s Small Business Development Center in the early 1990s. He also owned and operated a small print shop in Inglewood, California. As a small business owner, he experienced first-hand the significant challenges of entrepreneurship. Because of this experience, he vowed as a State legislator, to pursue policies that support small businesses in our state. This page reflects his most recent endeavors and accomplishments to fulfill his commitment.
Senator Price currently sits on a number of committees that allow him to promote California small businesses. These committees include:
Senator Price servers as Chair of this important committee, which has jurisdiction over legislation related to wide-range of issues pertaining to business and professional services’ practices and regulations. Some of the entities reviewed by this committee include: California small businesses, doctors, nurse practitioners and therapists; architects and engineers; cosmetologists and barbers; landscapers and interior designers; athletes and film makers, grocers, contractors, veterinarians, accountants, acupuncturists, optometrists, court reporters, chiropractors, for-profit colleges, financial services, real estate, etc.) The committee also pursues issues relating to California’s local, national and global economic competitiveness.
In 2006, Senator Price created and chaired the Assembly Select Committee on Procurement. When he was elected to the Senate in 2010, he established the Senate Select Committee on Procurement where he currently serves as Chairman. The purpose of these committees is to ensure that small business owners fully participate in public contracting and procurement opportunities.
He also serves as a member of the Senate Select Committee on High Speed Rail to ensure that small business owners are included in the California High Speed Rail project, which is ushering in the largest infrastructure project in U.S. History.
26th District Small Business Advisory Committee
To effectively represent the thousands of small businesses in my district, in 2010 I created the 26th District Small Business Advisory Committee. He also works closely with the California Small Business Association, which is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that makes its mission to provide small business with a meaningful voice in state and federal governments.
- SB 67 – Codifies an executive order (by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger) that requires all state agencies and departments to establish and achieve a 25% small business participation rate for state contracts, to ensure that the 25% participation rate remains in effect regardless of who is governor. (Currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. To be reconsidered in 2012)
- SB 294 – Requires the Board of Administration of the Public Employees' Retirement System and the Teachers' Retirement Board to each provide a five-year strategic plan to expand contract participation of emerging investment managers, which are historically disadvantaged investment firms. (Signed by the Governor)
- SB 460 – Requires the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (BT&H) to convene a statewide partnership for international trade marketing and promotion of California’s ports.
- Although Port activity is vital to California’s Economy, the state has no comprehensive economic strategy to protect and promote it. SB 460 allows for this strategy. (Currently in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. To be reconsidered in 2012)
- SB 550 – Broadens law enforcement powers to apprehend illegal disc manufacturing operations. (Signed by the Governor)
- SB 733 – (as amended August 15, 2011) Requires the High Speed Rail Authority, in conjunction with the Employment Development Department, to develop a strategy to hire 25% of local workers in the State. (Currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee. To be reconsidered in 2012)
- SB 734 – Encourages participation of small businesses in the High Speed Rail project by establishing contracting goals, preferences, and outreach efforts.
- It also raises the visibility and importance of microbusinesses and grants an additional 2.5% preference to those that are state certified.
- Microbusinesses have less than 25 employees, earn less than $3.5 million annually, and tend to be more diverse. Although microbusinesses comprise over 80 percent of California’s certified small businesses, many microbusiness owners are disadvantaged when competing against their larger small-business counterparts. (Approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee with the microbusiness provision deleted. The Senator is working with the High Speed Rail Authority on an alternative incentive for microbusinesses.)
- SB 735 – Assists in prioritizing California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) cases in the court system and helps to expedite construction projects for the benefit of economic development and job creation. (Currently in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee)
- SB 1185 -- Establishes the Centralized Intelligence Partnership (CIP), a state interagency task force, to tackle piracy, business fraud and the state’s expanding underground economy. The CIP would be comprised of representatives from at least nine agencies, including the BOE, the Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development Department, as well as the Departments of Insurance, Justice, Health, Motor Vehicles, Consumer Affairs, and Industrial Relations.
- SCR 24 – Declares May 2011 as Small Business Month to recognize California small businesses for their significant contribution to this great state. (Currently in the Senate)
- SCR 33 – Presents findings about California's economic interest to promote opportunities for EB-5 visa investment in the state.
- Congress created the EB-5 visa category in 1990 to attract foreign investment, making EB-5 status available to immigrants seeking to enter the United States in order to invest in a business or company that will benefit the economy.
- To be eligible for an EB-5 visa, an applicant must invest $1 million in a project that will benefit the U.S. economy and create full-time employment for at least ten qualified individuals.
- If the investment in a new commercial enterprise is made in a rural area or one with high unemployment, that investment can be $500,000. (Adopted)
The Senator’s passion to educate California small business owners and increase their participation in public contracting opportunities has led him to host the following educational forums over the past year:
January 20, 2012 – Town Hall Meeting to explore progress on mitigating barriers to emerging investment managers (historically disadvantaged investment firms). To hold major investment firms accountable, he hosts these meetings approximately every 6 months.
January 5, 2012 – Informational Hearing to Explore the High Speed Rail Authority’s draft “Small Business and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.” The small business program is a result of efforts initiated by Senator Price.
December 5 and 6, 2011 – African Diaspora Roadshow to Education Small African Business Owners of Grant Funding and Business Opportunities in Africa.
July 22, 2011 – Informational Hearing to Determine Barriers for Emerging Managers and Solutions to Increase Allocations from Major Investment Firms.
June 24, 2011 – Informational Hearing on “The Ongoing Threat of Piracy and Counterfeiting to California’s Economy” – to examine the ongoing threat of piracy and counterfeiting to California’s economy.
May 6, 2011 – Small Business Access to Capital and International Trade Forum – providing small business owners an opportunity to connect with critical resources (i.e., one-on-one assistance for financial advice, technical solutions and contracting opportunities) from reps of Small Business Development Centers, Small Business Administration, Center for International Trade Development, Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Port of Los Angeles, etc.
March 18, 2011 – Town Hall Meeting to explore the barriers and opportunities to Small Business Contracting on the major California High Speed Rail Project.
Resources for Small Businesses
- Small Business Administration
- Small Business Development Centers
- California Small Business Association
- Center for International Trade Development (Sacramento Region)
- Center for International Trade Development (El Camino/Los Angeles)
- Department of General Services – Business Services
- Port of Los Angeles
- Unemployment Insurance Tax Increase. In his 2012-13 budget plan, the governor proposes a new surcharge on employers to pay the accrued interest on the $9.97 billion outstanding unemployment insurance (UI) loan from the federal government. The governor expects to raise $472.5 million annually, starting January 1, 2013.
- The surcharge likely will be in the form of an increased employment training tax (ETT), which employers currently pay at a rate of 0.1 percent on the first $7,000 of each employee's wages.