Small Biz Advocates Applaud House Passage Of JOBS Act

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Small Business Advocates, Lawmakers Applaud House Passage Of JOBS Act
The Washington Post
J.D. Harrison
March 8, 2012

House lawmakers Thursday afternoon easily passed a bill meant to help small businesses grow and go public more quickly, changes that also have garnered widespread support from business groups, members of the Senate and the Obama administration.

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act consists of six reform measures that would ease Securities and Exchange Commision rules that can impede or slow the process for companies trying to enter the public markets.

Specifically, under the language of the bill, new SEC restrictions on companies with less than a billion dollars in gross revenue would take place over the course of five years rather than all at once. The legislation would also allow companies to solicit investors during the IPO process and permit them to raise money from larger numbers of small investors.

In an increasingly rare showing of bipartisanship, the House passed the measure 390-23. Already, the move has received praise from several advocates and policymakers in Washington, though at least one small business group voiced its disappointment in the measure.

Some of the early feedback on the passage of the bill and what it would mean for small businesses across the country:

The Obama administration:

“The administration looks forward to continuing to work with the House and the Senate to craft legislation that facilitates capital formation and job growth for small businesses and provides appropriate investor protections,” the statement says.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman, House Small Business Committee:

“To build a stronger economic recovery, we should end any threats of tax increases, address our debt crisis, pull back on unnecessary federal regulations, and remove barriers to starting businesses. The JOBS Act will help do this by increasing capital formation and paving the way for more small-scale businesses to go public and create more jobs. The JOBS Act will allow access to more financing for small businesses and address regulatory burdens that small businesses face.”

Karen Kerrigan, president and chief executive, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

“Access to capital remains a daunting challenge for small to mid-size firms at all stages of development and growth. The JOBS Act addresses a number of smart reforms that will boost capital formation and funding opportunities for small businesses. The legislation provides regulatory flexibility and relief from rigid and costly regulations for small firms, while modernizing outdated laws that restrict investment and capital formation.”

Todd McCracken, president, National Small Business Association

“The bipartisan efforts to move this bill forward are laudable, and ought to serve as an example of the kind of lawmaking we need. We hope the Senate will move quickly and expeditiously on the measure.”

Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

“The House today took a strong bi-partisan step to allow America’s entrepreneurs to lead the way for sustained economic growth and job creation. Small businesses and emerging growth companies have always been at the heart of dynamic growth. The JOBS Act provides important reforms and lessens regulatory burdens that will remove obstacles that have prevented business formation in the numbers we have come to expect.”

Steve Caldeira, president and chief executive, International Franchise Association:

“We applaud the House for coming to bipartisan agreement on legislation that will boost access to capital for franchise businesses, particularly given its direct correlation to job creation. For every $1 million in lending to franchise businesses, 34 new jobs are created…Any steps that can be taken to open the credit spigot to small businesses will help the economy as a whole, and we urge the Senate to move swiftly to consider this important and sensible piece of legislation.”

Jim Greenwood, president and chief executive, Biotechnology Industry Organization:

“BIO supports these reforms, which are especially important to innovative biotechnology companies that do not yet have product revenue and must spend investor dollars on compliance rather than the search for cures and breakthrough medicines for patients living with debilitating diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and Parkinson’s.This legislation would make capital formation easier for small biotechnology companies, enabling them to focus more on curing and treating disease.”

Dan Varroney, president and chief executive, TechAmerica:

“The technology industry is the prime example of what can happen when innovators and entrepreneurs are given the right tools to take a novel idea and turn it into a small business that brings innovation to the marketplace and drives the economy. The JOBS Act is a critical tool in the innovation economy tool box.”

Statement from the American Small Business League

The bills approved by the JOBS Act, while supposed to increase access to capital as well as oversight in government small business contracting programs, barely addressed the most pressing issues currently facing America’s more than 28 million small businesses...The American Small Business League is concerned that these bills fail to address the most overwhelming problem facing small businesses in the immediate future, which is the proposed closure of the SBA suggested in the President’s Consolidation Authority request.

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