About CAIB

The California Association of Independent Business, Inc. (CAIB) seeks to help California’s small businesses and our economy by providing:

  • A simple and effective process for small business people to take an active role in governmental affairs and affect legislation in Sacramento before it becomes law.
  • Accurate and up-to-date information to the governor, legislators and state officials, from the direct input of thousands of individual small business people regarding the impact of legislation, regulation, and other issues that affect their businesses.
  • Encouragement for small business people to participate with responsibility and authority. Small businesses provide a critical role in establishing a growing and prosperous economy. It is essential that small businesses are: informed on current pertinent issues, able to identify problems, and suggest plausible and reasonable solutions to our governor and legislature.

A Brief History

Since 1967, the California Association of Independent Business, Inc. (CAIB) has provided California’s government leaders with accurate and up-to-date information regarding the impact of legislation on small businesses and the economy.

CAIB is a non-partisan, non-political association comprised of thousands of small business people throughout the state who represent every political party and every viewpoint imaginable. We believe that it is our responsibility as Californians and as constituents to take the time and make the effort needed to help educate our government leaders about the importance of small business and impact it has on our economy and our society.

Approximately 5,000 bills are introduced every year in Sacramento. About 1/3 of these bills become law. We believe it is crucial that we become aware of legislation that affects our small businesses, and do something about them before they become law.

How Does CAIB Help?

We send our CAIB Writ of Opinion Ballots to thousands of small business people across the state. These Ballots are copies of legislation and issues that are introduced in Sacramento that impact small businesses. Our members vote our Ballots and return them to us for tabulation. Each of theses ballots serve as individual testimonies on each bill or issue. We report back to the governor and the legislature with our findings. We submit thousands of our ballots, testify in committee hearings, and produce formal reports for our leaders in Sacramento. Our goal is to make our state legislators aware of the actual impact of legislation on small businesses and the economy.

California’s small businesses are crucial to the state’s economy. Small businesses average 5-6 employees, yet provide over 80% of California’s private sector jobs. Small businesses are responsible for  75% of the Gross State Product. CAIB Members employ approximately 60,000 Californians, while the small business community as a whole provides jobs for over 15 million Californians.

Who are CAIB’s members?

CAIB is comprised of thousands of small business people. Our members  take the time and make the effort to provide their legislators with the information and cooperation essential to Sacramento’s efforts to help our state thrive.

  • CAIB Members are active participants in the political process.
  • CAIB is a non-partisan organization.
  • CAIB provides our governor and legislators with accurate and up-to-date information regarding the impact of legislation on small businesses.


CAIB is making a difference by uniting small business people to speak effectively to our state government leaders.


Awards and Accomplishments

The Governor’s Golden Bear Award

CAIB was awarded the Governor’s Golden Bear Award for our “tireless efforts, dedication, and advocacy on behalf of small business,” and as a measure of our “commitment to growing and sustaining economic development in the State of California.”

Historic Regulatory Reform

Governor Wilson turned to CAIB for our input regarding regulatory reform. In a letter to CAIB, Governor Wilson told us, “Because of you [CAIB], and with your help, I have directed all agencies to do a top-to-bottom review of California’s regulatory structure and the other impediments that face our small business community.” This regulatory review process led us to economic recovery.

Retirement Plans for Small Business Owners

CAIB sponsored SB 140 (effective 1976), which established a tax sheltered individual retirement system. IRAs, SEPs, KEOGHs, and 401Ks are the offspring of CAIB’s efforts, and allow small business people, and other individuals, to save for their retirement and reduce current income taxes.

Inventory Tax Abolished

In 1979, CAIB Members Ballots directly resulted in the removal of the California State Inventory Tax (AB 66) saving the small business community billions of dollars.

1986 Regulatory Reform

Over 300,000 small business responses were responsible for the statewide regulatory review conducted by Governor George Deukmejian at the behest of CAIB. Tens of thousands of regulations were eliminated or modified because of the overwhelming input from small businesses.

AB 2061 (LAW)

AB 2061 (proposed and sponsored by CAIB) took effect in January 1992. The intent of this legislation was to protect small business from inappropriate and unreasonable regulation. Requiring state and regional agencies to conduct a small business economic impact assessment on every new regulation BEFORE it is implemented.

CAIB Special Report

The CAIB Special Report provides Sacramento with a proven strategy to encourage California’s 3.5 million small businesses to expand, generate thousands of new jobs, create substantial new revenues to end budget deficits, and stimulate economic recovery. Our plan suggests incorporating proven methodologies into California’s system of governance for effective regulatory review. As well as provide small businesses exemptions from unnecessary, inappropriate, and unreasonable regulations.

CAIB‘s goal is to restore confidence and trust in our government, generate optimism and hope, and build a business friendly California, all of which will lead us to economic recovery. 

CAIB ~ California Association of Independent Business

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