Sens. Peters, Heitkamp & Heller Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Dialogue Between Small Businesses & Federal Regulators

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Dean Heller (R-NV) this week introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure small businesses have a seat at the table as new federal rules are made on how small businesses can raise funding and access the resources they need to succeed. The SEC Small Business Advocate Act would establish clear lines of communication between small businesses and the federal rule makers, allowing small businesses to advocate for policies that help them build investments in their companies.

“As the engines of economic growth in Michigan and across the country, it is vital that small businesses have their voices heard in the federal rulemaking decisions that impact them,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “I’m pleased to join my colleagues to introduce this bipartisan legislation, which will improve communication between small businesses and federal regulators and strengthen the ability of small businesses to compete and succeed.”

“North Dakota small businesses are creating jobs and economic opportunities throughout our communities – and when they make up 96 percent of our state’s employers, they deserve a seat at the table,” said Heitkamp. “Federal rule makers should work with North Dakota small businesses and startups to better understand the challenges they face – whether it’s growing investors to get off the ground, or complying with policies so they can continue to expand and hire more workers. Our commonsense, bipartisan bill would give small businesses – which created about two-thirds of the nation’s new jobs – a voice with the federal agency making many of these decisions so federal rules aren’t just written just for big business, but instead encourage new entrepreneurs to innovate and thrive.”

“In Nevada there are over 230,000 small businesses which employ more than 428,000 workers,” said Heller. “Unfortunately, small businesses are often underrepresented in the regulatory process in Washington. I’m proud to work with Senator Heitkamp and Senator Peters on this bipartisan legislation which would finally give job creating small businesses a bigger voice at the Securities and Exchange Commission to ensure that their views are heard on important issues such as capital formation.  Promoting access to working capital for small businesses is vital to hire new employees, grow business ventures, and encourage a stronger economic recovery.”

Many startups face challenges because federal rules don’t distinguish between large and small businesses, putting small businesses at a disadvantage. The SEC Small Business Advocate Act would create an Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation within the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to ensure small businesses have a clear voice when it comes to rulemaking that applies to private enterprises nationwide. The SEC is the nation’s regulatory authority on protecting investors, maintaining orderly markets, and enabling companies to raise the funding they need to start and grow.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), 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.