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The JOBS Act: An Important Step Towards Economic RecoveryPosted Thursday, September 27, 2012, at 11:32 AM
America is a nation of innovation. Our country was founded by political entrepreneurs: brave, honorable people who were willing to risk their lives and their fortunes on the dream of government based on the principles of liberty we hold so dear. It was this foundation of freedom that allowed our nation to become the greatest country in the world and enabled entrepreneurs and workers to build what was the most prosperous economy in human history.
The American economy is unique in that it is driven not by government planning, but by the entrepreneurial spirit. It allows people, of any class or background, the ability to invest in their own unique skills and ambition. It rewards people who bet on themselves. Only in America could an entrepreneur like Fred Smith create a company dedicated to shipping packages quickly and efficiently all across the world and grow it to what is now known as FedEx. Only in America could Walt Disney go from failed cartoonist to a name synonymous with the magic of entertainment. Only in America could Steve Jobs start the world's most valuable company from his garage in California.
Unfortunately, an ever-expanding Federal Government has created an environment that makes it far more difficult for America's great entrepreneurs to be successful, or for the rest of us to enjoy the products and services they create. The more unnecessary and burdensome regulations there are, the less freedom innovators have to launch their companies and create jobs. It was this growing mountain of red tape that helped inspire me to take on Washington, and why I am so proud to have sponsored the JOBS Act.
The Jumpstart Our Business Start-ups Act, or JOBS Act, is one of the most important pieces of legislation signed into law during the last two years for job creation. This bipartisan bill modernizes certain SEC regulations and does away with others that make it harder for entrepreneurs to access sources of private funding. Without private funding, it's impossible for new businesses to get off the ground, expand and hire more workers.
Put simply, the JOBS Act makes funding more accessible for start-up companies by allowing more investors to participate in the funding process and by allowing entrepreneurs to use new tools to attract investors. I am proud of the success of the JOBS Act which passed Congress with a bipartisan vote of 380-41 in the House and 73-26 in the Senate. It is the perfect example of both parties coming together to pass meaningful legislation that will directly lead to new jobs and a better economy.
One of the most exciting aspects of the JOBS Act is the authority small businesses now have to utilize new technology, like social media, to connect with potential investors. During an oversight recent hearing on September 13th, Rory Eakin, the founder of CircleUp, a company that helps start-up companies raise capital and comply with regulations, shared the stories of a few of his clients whose success was needlessly limited in a pre-JOBS Act world.
People like Kim Walls, who created a growing skincare company in California, but was prohibited from using her base of 20,000 Facebook followers to attract new investors. Or a father like Zak Normandin, who created a company that sells healthy snacks to children, but was unable to extend investment opportunities to his most passionate customers interested in investing in business. As Mr. Eakin said at this hearing, "our current system is one that rewards entrenched investors, an insular network of institutions and individuals that favors private investor access more than the creation and growth of new businesses. But with modern technology and this Act, this is going to change."
The American economic recovery depends upon giving entrepreneurs like Ms. Walls, Mr. Normandin, and Mr. Eakin the freedom to build and grow their companies, not government spending on political handouts that gave us the Solyndra debacle. Especially when so many Americans are struggling. The JOBS Act is an important step towards our recovery. I look forward to seeing what the next great American innovators create with it.
Stephen L. Fincher
Stephen Fincher is the U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 8th congressional district.
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