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The JOBS Act offers solutionsPosted Friday, March 9, 2012, at 4:09 PM
When we are young, we are told that we can grow up to be anything. I tell my kids the same thing -- work hard and you can do anything if you set your mind to it. The United States is great because of its people, freedoms and endless opportunity. Our country flourishes as we inspire unique ideas, lead the world in innovation, and instill in our citizens that hard work pays off. This is the basic core foundation that enables our country to be the best place in the entire world to live.
However, Washington is creeping into every aspect of small business, negatively impacting opportunities. With a national unemployment rate of 8.3% and gas prices continuing to rise, we need to remain vigilant and see to it that these innovations and opportunities don't expire because of too many Washington regulations.
While we face these challenging times of economic uncertainty, it is imperative to look at what Washington is doing that stands in the way of our economic opportunities and dreams. What is Washington doing that is preventing folks from starting or expanding small businesses?
New business startups are at a 17 year low, as job creators stay on the sidelines avoiding mountains of bureaucratic red tape and uncertainty coming from Washington. Complying with government regulations is a primary problem small businesses face when trying to grow and create jobs.
We all know, private sector jobs are not created in the halls of Congress. Private sector jobs are created by small business and entrepreneurship all across America. With the House of Representatives passing the JOBS Act we went after those Washington regulations that stand in the way of our small businesses trying to expand and create jobs. The JOBS Act which includes my bill, H.R. 3606 as the base bill, will help small businesses across the nation gain access to the capital needed to expand operations and create new jobs.
On average, 92% of a company's job growth occurs after being listed on the U.S. stock exchanges. The process for a company to be listed and go public is long and burdensome. Since 1980, startup firms less than five years old have created the vast majority of new jobs in this country, nearly 40 million of them, according to the Kauffman Foundation. The past few years, however, have seen a 23 percent decline in these small-business startups -- depleting 1.8 million additional jobs from the economy.
Whether it's due to the threat of higher taxes or regulations that place higher costs on businesses and limits on who can invest, small businesses and entrepreneurs are frozen in their tracks.
In Tennessee, companies like Miller Industries, First Acceptance Corporation, Verso Paper Corporation and even FedEx went through the process of going public. These huge employers are vital to the economy of Tennessee, just like many emerging growth companies looking to go public now. We must create a straightforward path with lower regulations so smaller companies can get moving on creating jobs.
Individually, these bills have garnered broad bipartisan support and from members of the business community who represent current or former startup companies. Specifically, Steve Case, founder of AOL and former AOL chairman who is also a member of the President's Council on Jobs and Economic Competitiveness, has highlighted the need for these tools to boost startups and has endorsed the JOBS Act.
Also among those in support of the bill is the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council citing: "Healthy entrepreneurship requires access to capital, yet funding streams remain cautious, locked or tentative. Entrepreneurs need solutions that will create options for accessing capital. The JOBS Act offers such solutions."
The JOBS Act will help ensure that America remains the best economy in the world. These solutions restore opportunities for Americans who have a dream, work hard, play by the rules, and create the businesses that define our nation's success.
The House of Representatives has made some progress; I'm hoping the Senate will do the same and send this bill to the President for his signature.
Stephen L. Fincher
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Stephen Fincher is the U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 8th congressional district.
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