The JOBS Act and ineffective Government

american-jobs-actOr more specifically the Jumpstart Our Business Startups act was signed into law this past April 5, 2012 with a fair amount of fanfare.

This law is a bit of a misnomer in that it is not about jobs per se rather intended to encourage funding of United States small businesses by easing various securities regulations (granted there is often a direct relationship between jobs creation and available funding).

A fundamental facet of the JOBS act is a provision that would allow small companies to “crowd fund” or in plain English, permit investment in entrepreneurs, by markedly easing SEC regulations [read: significantly reduced disclosure, lawyer, accountant & investment banker expense that many/most small businesses can’t afford] , and permitting small businesses to sell stock and other securities over the Internet directly to the general public in a more streamlined process.

Sidebar:  Proponents of crowd funding point to funding becoming more accessible to small businesses – Detractors suggest that eased regulations could expose small or inexperienced investors to additional risks.

In any event the legislation was passed and the charge was put to the SEC (who, by the way,  report to Congress) to draft the particulars to enable this law.

Follow up required by the SEC

To revise existing rules to accommodate Title II: Access to Capital for Job Creators within 90 days of April 5, 2012 … the SEC did not put out proposed rules until August 29, 2012 [that BTW  was 146 days] and to revise rules to accommodate  Title III: Crowdfunding within  270 days of April 5, 2012 or December 31, 2012.  That deadline is days away and with the Chairperson of the SEC, Mary Schapiro, and three of her key staff now departing – two directly responsible for crafting the rules to effect – it appears that what was described as a “game changer” back in April may not take effect until perhaps 2014.

If you share the belief that the JOBS act could be part of the solution and these delays are unacceptable please don’t be shy about mentioning to your Congressman – I know I will.

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