Congressmen Carney, Duffy, Quigley, and Crenshaw Introduce Bill to Expand Small Businesses’ Voice at the SEC

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — This week, Congressmen John Carney (D-DE), Sean Duffy (R-WI) Mike Quigley (D-IL), and Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) introduced H.R. 3784, the SEC Small Business Advocate Act of 2015. This legislation would establish an Office of Small Business Advocate at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Small businesses are a driver of economic growth and job creation throughout the United States. Though many regulators and lawmakers take into account their needs, small businesses still face challenges communicating with regulators on a wide range of issues. To address this problem, the SEC Small Business Advocate Act establishes an Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation and formalizes a Small Business Advisory Committee.  This office would open a clear avenue of communication to SEC leadership on issues affecting small businesses by maintaining a designated representative to advocate on their needs.  It will also serve as a source for new concepts and innovation in the small business marketplace. This legislation will not only improve the regulatory process for small business owners, but also for the investors and consumers that depend on them.

Congressman John Carney said, “Every American relies on small business — from employment to shopping needs. Considering the crucial role they play in our economy and job creation, providing resources for their success is a no-brainer. The SEC has done an admirable job supporting and advancing the priorities of small businesses. This legislation will help provide the SEC with more tools to understand their needs and concerns. I’m proud to join Congressmen Duffy, Quigley, and Crenshaw in introducing this bipartisan legislation to ensure that small businesses continue to have a clear voice at the SEC.”

Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy offered, “Small businesses are responsible for nearly half of the jobs in America. Despite that they are a significant part of the U.S. economy, their success is often a secondary thought in discussions about capital market policies. This bill ensures the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation will be a constant voice at the SEC, giving small business access to capital equal footing within the SEC’s tri-part mission.”

“Enforcing robust investor protections is essential for the safety and soundness of our financial markets. But we must ensure that these well-intended protections do not significantly harm small business growth . The SEC Small Business Advocate Act will do just that by providing small businesses and small business investors an independent voice at the SEC,” said Congressman Mike Quigley. “As the backbone of America, employing nearly half of the private sector workforce, I will continue to stand up for small businesses in Congress and look forward to working with my colleagues to pass the SEC Small Business Advocate Act.”

Congressman Ander Crenshaw, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, said, “Small businesses create the bulk of new jobs across America and deserve common-sense tools to continue that vital role in growing our economy. But with so many new and complex regulations at play, including those brought on by Dodd-Frank and the JOBS Act, they face enormous challenges along that road. Establishing a small business advocate at the SEC would provide a welcome voice to assist them in such areas as handling regulatory issues, predicting problems ahead, and pointing to areas where access to capital can be improved. When you open that type of communication and opportunity for problem solving, it’s a win-win for everyone.”   

“The new Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation puts into place an independent voice for small businesses and small business investors at the SEC,” said Brett Palmer, President of the SBIA. “Small businesses and the investment community that is relied on for capital to stimulate growth and job creation have special needs that are too often overlooked at the SEC. As the major source of jobs and economic growth in communities across America, it is critical to prevent impediments that slow this small business growth engine.”

This legislation is supported by: Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Biotechnology Industry Association (BIO), Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), National Small Business Association (NSBA), Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA), National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), National Development Council (NDC)

To see a summary of the bill click here. To see the bill text click here. To view a letter of support written by the afore-mentioned groups click here.