American Business Leaders Speak Out about the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act

On April 5, 2012, President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, a bipartisan bill that will allow Main Street small businesses and high-growth enterprises to raise capital from investors more efficiently, encouraging small and young firms across the country to grow and hire faster. 

The JOBS Act is a product of bipartisan cooperation, with the President and Congress working together to promote American entrepreneurship and innovation. It will help growing businesses access financing while maintaining investor protections, and includes all three of the capital formation priorities that the President first called for last fall:  allowing “crowdfunding,” expanding “mini-public offerings,” and creating an “IPO on-ramp” consistent with investor protections.  

BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS

Michelle Long,Executive Director of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)

“Previous laws placed huge restrictions on the investment choices of small, ‘unaccredited’ investors—a category in SEC that included all but the richest two percent of Americans.  The old regulations prohibited the average American from investing in any small business, something that we now expect to be enthusiastically greeted by both business owners and investors across the country.” 

Dean C. Garfield, President and CEO of Information Technology Industry Council

“As we’ve said before, this new law will be a strong step forward not only for up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the tech sector, but also throughout the economy. The new law will certainly have a positive impact on the emergent tech and venture capital/private equity communities. It will allow for start-ups to grow stronger and much faster, creating new jobs and opportunities across the country. The history of the JOBS Act stems from the President’s Startup America initiative and the ideas it generated, and he pressed for this legislation consistently and forcefully. President Obama has demonstrated real leadership in this effort to kick-start new industries and opportunities.” 

Todd Thibodeaux, President and CEO of CompTIA

“CompTIA is very pleased that the President has signed the bipartisan JOBS Act into law. The JOBS Act is an important way to help jump start small businesses that need a boost in this uncertain economy. The law opens up a new channel of vital equity capital for technology firms seeking funding to expand their operations. Of course, making it easier for small businesses to grow means new jobs for the economy as a whole.  CompTIA is encouraged by this bipartisan effort and cooperation between Congress and the President. We hope this is a sign that both sides can work together on other important policies to help grow small businesses, create more jobs and strengthen the economy.” 

Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)

“The Consumer Electronics Association, the tech industry trade group behind the annual gadget bonanza that is the Consumer Electronics Show, gave its collective approval to President Obama’s signing of the JOBS Act on Thursday. The JOBS Act will encourage economic growth without any additional government spending or new taxes by removing regulatory blocks, thus making funding more accessible for entrepreneurs and innovators. The rare bipartisan bill is designed to eliminate regulations on who can invest in startup companies, paving the way for public citizens to use crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter to support and earn money back from the success of startups.” 

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council “Entrepreneurs are thrilled to see Washington working on their behalf.  Passage of the JOBS Act is proof that elected officials and leaders can put political differences aside for the good of the country and the economy. The lack of access to capital is holding budding entrepreneurs and promising firms back, and without money or credit these businesses cannot grow, innovate or create jobs.  The JOBS Act is a potent mix of regulatory reforms and relief that will free up precious capital for growth, and create new models and platforms for businesses to raise funds.  I look forward to working with small business leaders in the Congress to advance additional initiatives that will help entrepreneurs better compete and grow in the challenging global economy.”   

Rey Ramsey, President and CEO of TechNet

“This is a significant step forward in creating good American jobs.  Nine out of ten jobs created at an emerging growth company come after the IPO. By providing temporary relief on some of the most costly compliance regulations, this bill preserves key investor protections while making it easier for small companies with big potential to go public sooner and raise the capital necessary to keep growing and creating jobs. This bill will go a long way in reviving the IPO market, the broader capital markets and, hence, the broader U.S. economy. It shows that the White House and Congress can work together to improve existing policy and advance U.S. competitiveness.” 

Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)

“I was honored to witness the signing of the JOBS Act into law. This legislation will make the pathway to capital formation more attainable for small biotechnology companies, encouraging American innovation by removing bureaucratic hurdles. This law will incentivize and encourage capital formation for small, emerging biotechnology companies that do not yet have products on the market.  By allowing companies to focus their limited funds on research rather than on compliance, it will speed the development of new cures and treatments for patients living with debilitating diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, and HIV/AIDS.” 

Michael McGeary, Co-Founder and Director of Engine Advocacy

“I was honored to represent the startup community across America this afternoon as a guest of President Obama in the White House Rose Garden as he signed JOBS Act into law. This bi-partisan bill will do great things for our community; through increased ability for companies to go public, raise money through crowdfunding or scale their products and businesses into the marketplace with greater ease. With Engine, I look forward to helping many new startups benefit from this law, and continuing to work with the Congress and the President to pass further legislation aimed at helping startups continue to drive the Engine of the American economy.” 

Connie Evans, President and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity

“The JOBS Act, which passed in Congress at the end of March, is a combination of capital formation proposals to make it easier for firms to raise capital, including and most importantly, crowdfunding. Crowdfunding will allow entrepreneurs and microbusinesses new and innovative ways to access capital over the Internet… Given the tremendous demand for credit among microbusinesses and entrepreneurs, crowdfunding offers real promise for underserved business entrepreneurs and may allow the organizations that serve them the ability to reach even deeper into the entrepreneurial community.” 

John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority

“The bipartisan Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, signed into law by President Obama today, will help address one of small business owners’ biggest problems: a lack of access to credit. Recent opinion polling we released found 90 percent of small business owners say the availability of credit is a problem. The JOBS Act will help shore up credit for small businesses looking to grow and expand, but it is not a panacea for all small firms’ credit woes. We’re pleased to see it being signed into law today and hope it will pave the way for lawmakers as they continue working on solutions that can better lending conditions for small businesses.” 

Camden R. Fine, President and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)

“ICBA has been the leading advocate for raising the SEC registration threshold for many years, and we thank President Obama for enacting it into law today by signing the JOBS Act.  This provision will help community banks, which fuel over 60 percent of the nation’s small businesses, to continue to serve their small business customers and create more local jobs for hardworking Americans. By making it easier for community banks to raise capital without tripping costly registration requirements, the provision will enhance community banks’ ability to lend locally and will even permit some community banks that are already registered with the SEC to deregister, which will significantly reduce their overall regulatory burden.  This will ultimately free many community banks up so they have the ability to make even more small business and consumer loans, creating economic growth and prosperity for their communities in cities and towns throughout the country.” 

ENTREPRENEURS

Steve Case, CEO of Revolution

“I was honored to stand with President Obama, Majority Leader Cantor, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, and entrepreneurs from across the country to take part in the signing of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. Despite Washington gridlock and a heated election campaign, today’s signing ceremony showcases an example of our nation’s political leaders coming together to help accelerate economic growth and preserve our global entrepreneurial leadership. By making it easier for entrepreneurs to start new businesses, grow existing companies, foster innovation, create jobs, and protect investors, the JOBS Act is an important step forward.” 

Victoria Ransom, Founder and CEO of Wildfire Interactive

Ransom said her company, the world’s largest social media marketing software firm, has grown from seven employees in 2010 to 330 today, and is hiring 25 people a month. She said the JOBS Act “is particularly relevant for us because we are very definitely a public-market candidate, so obviously it's going to make it a lot easier for us now both to go public and to be public, so that we can invest in growing the business.  I think we’re an example of exactly what this bill is trying to achieve, which is startups that create jobs.” 

Steve Robert, Co-Founder and CIO of Billhighway and Michigan leader of Startup America Partnership

“Spurring investment in small businesses and supporting their access to the capital markets helps companies innovate and bring those innovations to the marketplace more effectively.” 

Albert Santalo, Founder, President and CEO of CareCloud

“We certainly look at an IPO as a realistic possibility for CareCloud. This new legislation would allow us to do it sooner.  Like any company, we stay ahead of our competition.  The JOBS Act now grants us greater access to new capital if we determine that is what we need, and gives us the same advantage that public companies have in raising capital.”

For more information, see the press release.

Related Topics: Economy, Startup America, Michigan
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