A number of influential small business and entrepreneurial interest groups have joined forces to encourage U.S. Senate leaders to bring pending legislation regarding crowdfunding to the Senate floor for a vote as soon as possible. Citing the fact that crowdfunding legislation has already passed the House by a significant margin and that it also has the support of the President, the groups’ recent letter points up the ongoing challenges many small business owners face in obtaining adequate capital, either for startup purposes or to enable growth.
“Healthy entrepreneurship requires access to capital,” the group writes, “yet funding streams remain cautious, locked or tentative. Entrepreneurs need solutions that will create options for accessing capital.”
Crowdfund investing, they assert, is just such a solution.
The whole premise of crowdfunding is to provide a regulated online platform for entrepreneurs in need of capital to bring their business ideas directly to potential investors for their consideration. In their letter, the groups state that, should crowdfunding legislation pass, “Americans will have the opportunity to invest in small businesses in their local communities, or support entrepreneurs in rural areas where business formation is critical to sustaining those communities.”
However, they also recognize that the whole concept of crowdfunding is not without its detractors, which is why the letter also reinforces the fact that crowdfund investing platforms will be “open and transparent, and operate under a new regulatory framework.” The group goes on to cite the proven success of gift-based crowdfunding as well as crowdfund investing in other parts of the world and assures legislators that investors will be protected through the use of proven technologies, including social media. Furthermore, they state, “entrepreneurs looking to raise capital will be required to provide significant financial information to potential investors, as well as withstand the scrutiny of the crowd in regards to the feasibility of their business plan and models.”
Two bills related to crowdfund investing have been introduced in the U.S. Senate thus far and are currently under consideration. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has stated that the Senate Banking Committee will hold an additional hearing on the package of capital access bills sometime this week.
Expressing both their pleasure that things are finally moving ahead in the Senate as well as their optimism that some consensus on crowdfunding legislation is possible, the groups’ summation of what is at stake is clear. “Capital is the lifeblood of our economy, and without it small business owners and entrepreneurs simply cannot generate new jobs, breakthrough innovations and (the) economic impact that are necessary for bringing our nation back to sustained growth.”
For more information:
The letter of support for passage of crowdfunding legislation was sent by the following groups: the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Association for the Self-Employed, Minority Business Roundtable, The Latino Coalition, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council and the National Small Business Association. To read it in full, please click here on Crowdfunding Legislation Letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).