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Opening Statement at 35th Annual Small Business Forum

Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar

Nov. 17, 2016

Thank you, Keith [Higgins] for the introduction.  Thank you, Sebastian [Gomez Abero] and the rest of the Office of Small Business Policy for organizing this annual gathering of the Commission, its staff, and the many individuals from across the country who have a strong dedication and passion for small businesses.

This year’s forum offers the Commission a chance to reflect on our efforts to improve access to capital for small businesses over the past several years.  Under the leadership of Chair White, the Commission has adopted rules that modernize and update the legal framework, which should facilitate capital formation and protect investors.  I am pleased that the Commission has successfully implemented the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (“JOBS”) Act, which shows what is achievable when common sense laws are enacted on a bipartisan basis.

As described by Chair White, the Commission has adopted final rules that permit general solicitation in private offerings to accredited investors, increase the limits on Regulation A offerings, implement crowdfunding provisions, and update the rules on intra-state offerings.  Many of these rules had their origins in past recommendations from this forum.

The menu of capital-raising choices available today to small businesses presents more flexibility and more alternatives than ever before.  As the effective dates for many of these changes have recently passed – and in some cases have yet to start – only time will tell as to how issuers, investors, and other market participants react.  Fortunately, the Commission has an entire division focused on studying the economic effects of our rulemakings.  As an economist, I cannot wait to see their analyses in the months and years to come. 

The innovation, creativity, and job creation from small businesses are an essential component to fostering continued economic growth.  Thank you for your participation and I look forward to reviewing this year’s recommendations.