Advisory Committee on Small & Emerging Companies Opening Remarks
Commissioner Kara M. Stein
Feb. 25, 2016
Good morning. Welcome to both the continuing members, as well as the new members of the Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies. I am looking forward to hearing from you regarding how we can better understand and address issues that affect small and emerging businesses. I would also like to thank the Office of Small Business Policy in the Division of Corporation Finance for organizing today’s meeting.
This Committee has the important task of providing advice and recommendations to the SEC regarding privately held small businesses and publicly traded companies with a market capitalization of less than $250 million.
This year, the Committee will have an opportunity to examine a variety of novel issues impacting small and emerging companies.
For example, how will Reg A+ and Reg Crowdfunding work in practice? What are the best metrics we can develop to measure whether or not these new regulations are effective, both with respect to their impact on small businesses, as well as on investors? Which capital raising options work best for firms that form a part of the small and emerging company landscape? It may be the case that the “fixes” envisioned by some of the new mandates under the JOBS Act do not work in the manner they were intended. I am curious to see what recommendations the Committee develops for helping us to study this market.
On a related point, are there asymmetries in access to capital raising options among small and emerging companies? Which companies are getting funding? Are capital raising opportunities, including the new options available under Regulations A+ and Crowdfunding, known and accessible on fair terms? If not, why not? How can we best support the diversity of entrepreneurial talent that exists behind many of these small businesses? I look forward to discussions that examine how women and minority-owned small business ventures are faring and on how the Commission can help.
Finally, I look forward to the discussion today on the data, size and scope of small business capital raising through traditional public offerings as compared to unregistered securities offerings. With the relative dollar amount of capital raising in the private markets in 2014 eclipsing that of the public market, we should examine what this means for small and emerging companies in particular. Also, are small businesses receiving within the private markets the funding support they need to grow and eventually graduate to the public markets?
I look forward to the discussions today and for the upcoming year. Thank you.