An Agenda to Encourage Small Business Growth

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 29, 2013 | Go to article overview

An Agenda to Encourage Small Business Growth


Politicians often repeat this mantra, especially around election time: "small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of the American economy."

Their actions however, often do not seem consistent with that rhetoric. Recently, small business owners have come together to advocate for policies that will level the playing field for small businesses and encourage economic growth in Illinois. Here are a few of those initiatives:

Equity crowdfunding

Small business owners and entrepreneurs often struggle to obtain the funding necessary for innovation and growth. Recently, equity crowdfunding has emerged as a potential game-changer for small business owners seeking capital.

The Federal JOBS Act, a bipartisan bill which passed the House of Representatives by a tally of 390-23, was signed into law in April of 2012. In part, the JOBS Act allows small business owners and entrepreneurs to raise up to one million dollars, online, from their friends, associates, networks and the public. In exchange, business owners offer investors equity in their companies. Equity crowdfunding allows business owners to tap into the power of critical mass to enhance their infrastructure, hire employees, innovate and grow.

Before companies can begin raising capital through equity crowdfunding, the Securities and Exchange Commission must draft rules that will govern the operation of crowdfunding websites. These rules, in part, will protect consumers and reduce online scams. The SEC was directed to draft crowdfunding rules by Dec. 31, 2012, approximately eight months after the JOBS Act was enacted. The SEC has missed this important deadline.

Equity crowdfunding will empower the small business and entrepreneurial community to invest in one another. For that reason, it is imperative that a small business agenda include pushing the SEC to write the rules for equity crowdfunding now.

LLC filing fees

Small and mid-market businesses often file and operate as Limited Liability Companies because these entities are their best option. In Illinois however, the fees associated with filing and operating an LLC are significantly and arbitrarily higher than those charged to corporations. For example, the fee for filing an LLC in Illinois is three times higher than the fee for filing as a corporation and ranks among the highest in the nation. …

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