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Entrepreneurs Are Key Drivers of U.S. Economic Prosperity

By Erik Pages

It has taken some time, but it now appears that many in Congress are recognizing something that NBIA members have long known: Entrepreneurs are key drivers of U.S. economic prosperity. In the past year, several pieces of interesting entrepreneur-friendly legislation have been introduced. These bills have uncertain prospects for passage, but they seem to be a sign that at least some in Congress finally "get it."

The Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act (H.R. 2930): Introduced by Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., this bill raises current limits on unregulated crowdfunding investments (e.g., those made via Web sites like Prosper.com). The bill would raise current limits to $10,000 per investor and $5 million in total investment per firm. President Obama's American Jobs Act raises the total contribution limit to $1 million. It has passed the House, and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs has had hearings on the measure. The bill awaits further Senate action.

The StartUp Visa Act (S. 565/H.R. 1114): Introduced by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., this act provides special visas to immigrants who start a new business that employs at least five people and who invest at least $100,000 into the new venture.

The Access to Capital for Job Creators Act (H.R. 2940): Introduced by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., this bill changes current Securities and Exchange Commission rules to exempt small businesses from registering when they seek new investors. The change would allow firms to more rapidly access funds from a wider range of new investors. The House of Representatives has approved it, but the Senate has not yet taken it up.

The Startup Expansion and Investment Act (H.R. 2941): This bill, introduced by Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., exempts smaller firms (those with less than $1 billion in market capitalization) from certain Sarbanes-Oxley regulations when and if they opt to pursue an initial public offering.

The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. Each year, it provides thousands of professionals with information, education, advocacy and networking resources to bring excellence to the process of assisting early-stage companies. An elected, voting board of directors representing the world's leading incubators governs the association.

The New Jersey Business Incubation Network (NJBIN) is a collaborative statewide community of business experts, resources and facilities dedicated to enhancing the commercial success of early-stage entrepreneurial companies, growing higher paying jobs in New Jersey and supporting the Economic Growth Strategy for the State.

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