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Remarks to the SEC Small Business Forum

Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar

Nov. 20, 2014

Thank you, Keith [Higgins], for that introduction.  And a special thank you to each of the audience participants here, for giving up your time and spending your money, to join us in Washington, D.C.  It is so important to hear your voices.  Perhaps, in the future, we might consider alternating the venue of this forum with locations elsewhere in the country, so we can make it as broadly accessible as possible.

It is no secret that small businesses are the engines that power our economy.  They foster innovation and offer opportunity for millions of Americans.  More importantly, these small corporations and businesses are crucial to creating jobs.  But without adequate access to capital, a small business might never get out of the starting gate.

As a former staff member in the U.S. Senate, I saw firsthand the concerns about small business capital formation.  One of the signature pieces of bipartisan legislation accomplished during my time with the Senate was passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act – better known as the JOBS Act.  Indeed, a signed copy of the JOBS Act hangs on my office wall here at the SEC. 

I am very happy to be part of the 33rd annual forum on small business capital formation.   The statutory purpose of the forum is to review the current status of problems and programs relating to small business capital formation.  So I am pleased to see representatives of other regulators – from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Small Business Administration, FINRA, and state and provincial securities regulators – here today alongside our Commission staff.

I am keeping my remarks short, because I want to use this forum as an opportunity to listen.  I look forward to today’s discussion as well as the recommendations that will be forthcoming.  Those recommendations are reviewed by many people, including members of Congress.  In fact, when I have conversations about small business with my former colleagues on Capitol Hill, including conversations about so-called “JOBS Act 2.0” bills, one of the first documents they reference is the report from this forum.

Thank you, again, for your attendance today and I would also like to thank our staff for their dedicated work in organizing the forum.

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