He’s kidding, right? I mean, I’m not really sure what anyone is expected to say to such a proposal.

Chris Dodd, Democrat chairing the Senate Banking Committee is proposing new restrictions on startups and investing. Let’s start with “Senate Banking Committee”…You draw your own conclusions.

The proposed bill would have an effect on 1) angel investors (friends and family members who invest in a startup, 2) unaffiliated wealthy individuals, and 3) side VC’s acting on their own.

What does that mean, according to the proposed bill?

#1) Startups who raise ANY funding would be required to register with the SEC and wait 120 days for the Securities & Exchange Commission to review their filing.

     Let’s add more costs and hurdles to the risks of creating a startup where innovation lives.

 #2) It would raise the wealth requirements for an “accredited investor” who can invest in startups from #1 million, to more than $2.3 million in assets, or income of more than $450,000 (up from $250,000).

       Let’s see, perfect timing. It’s clear our country is rolling in the ‘dough’ and those with $$ have suffered severe net worth loss, and the rest, have suffered. Let’s limit their ability to fund jobs and innovation.

#3) The third restriction removes the federal pre-emption allowing angel and venture financing in the United States to follow federal regulations, rather than face different rules between states.

       If  funding rules become the same across all states, I suppose it’s logical that also means we get to take the best of all states; no personal income tax, no property tax, legality of same sex marriages and so on.?

Who should care? All of us.

Firms with fewer than 500 employees accounted for 64 percent (14.5 million) of the 22.5 million net new jobs (gains minus loses) between 1993 and the third quarter of 2008.

Small businesses create 64% of the net new jobs in the U.S. market.

Continuing firms accounted for 68% of net new jobs, and the other 32% reflect net new jobs from startup births minus those lost in closures (1993-2007). 

Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Employment Dynamics. Note that the methodology used for the figures above counts job gains or losses in the actual class size where they occurred.

Small businesses account for over 50% of US workers

Small businesses employ just over half of U.S. workers. Of 119.9 million non-farm private sector workers in 2006, small firms with less than 500 workers employed 60.2 million and large firms employed 59.7 million. Firms with fewer than 20 employees employed 21.6 million.

While small firms create a majority of the net new jobs, their share of employment remains steady since some grow into large firms as they create new jobs. Small firms’ share of part-time workers is 21%, similar to large firms’ share (18%).

Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census: Statistics of U.S. Businesses, Current Population Survey.

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NET: Startup businesses represent a significant percent of the U.S. job market and the economy. Innovation is stemmed by this very same group. How could these elements of the proposed bill possibly have any value?

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