12.20.16

President Signs into Law Peters, Heitkamp, Heller Bipartisan Bill to Give Small Businesses & Startups a Seat at the Table

Senators’ Bill Will Ensure Small Businesses have a Voice as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Creates Rules that Impact How Companies Access Capital, Expand Operations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Dean Heller (R-NV) today announced that the president signed into law their bipartisan bill to make sure small businesses and startups have a voice when new federal rules are written on how they can raise funding and access the resources they need to succeed.

“Michigan is home to over 850,000 small businesses, which hire locally, give back to their communities, and boost economic growth across the state,” said Peters. “The SEC Small Business Advocate Act will help ensure these small businesses have a seat at the table when critical decisions impacting them are made, and I’m pleased that this bipartisan legislation has now been signed into law.”

“We can do more to level the playing field for small businesses and startups in rural America by making sure they have a seat at the table when it comes to federal rulemaking,” said Heitkamp. “Small businesses make up 96 percent of North Dakota’s employers, but when it comes to the rules of private enterprise, they don’t always have a voice – and are many times swept up in rules aimed at larger, more powerful players – putting them at an immediate disadvantage. With a little North Dakota commonsense, we can change that. Now law, my bipartisan bill will make sure the challenges small businesses and startups face are considered when it comes to writing the rules that impact them. We can encourage innovation and entrepreneurial growth, and we can do it by making sure our small businesses and burgeoning startup communities are heard.”

“Nevada’s small businesses employ over 428,000 jobs for its workers. Yet, these economic engines rarely have their voice heard in the regulatory process. I teamed with Senators Heitkamp and Peters on bipartisan legislation to ensure that the more than 230,000 small businesses in the state get a fair shake from the SEC. I’m proud to say the SEC Small Business Advocate Act has now been signed into law. This is a prime example of how putting the needs of small businesses first encourages hiring of new employees and growth of our nation’s economy,” said Heller.

Across the country, small businesses make up almost half of the country’s private-sector workforce and created about two-thirds of the nation’s net new jobs. Now law, the senators’ bipartisan legislation will make sure small businesses have a clear voice when it comes to federal rulemaking that applies to private enterprises nationwide – which too often fail to distinguish between large and small businesses, leaving small businesses at a disadvantage.

By creating an Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation within the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – the nation’s regulatory authority on protecting investors, facilitating capital formation and keeping the U.S. marketplace fair and efficient – the senators’ SEC Small Business Advocate Act will help small businesses and startups advocate for policies that help them build investments as well as jobs across the country.

The legislation, which unanimously passed in both the House and Senate, was initially introduced by U.S. Representative John Carney (D-DE) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The senators introduced their bipartisan companion bill in the U.S. Senate in April.