Robert Hurt: We must help small business, startups access capital

robert hurtThis past week the Financial Services Committee held our first legislative mark-up of the year, approving 10 bills to reduce regulatory burdens on Main Street business.  One of the bills we approved by a bipartisan vote of 44-13 was the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups, or “HALOS,” Act, which I introduced with my colleagues Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona).

This piece of legislation is vital in the effort toward removing the unnecessary heavy burdens placed on our most dynamic job makers – our small businesses.  As I travel across the Main Streets of Virginia’s Fifth District, the consistent theme I hear is concern regarding jobs and our current economic climate.  The HALOS Act will directly address this concern and enable small businesses to flourish without the federal government placing barriers along the way.

Just last month, Charlottesville was recognized as the location with the fastest-growing venture capital ecosystem in the United States by the National Venture Capital Association, with an amazing 157 percent increase in capital investment in the past five years.  Capital investment can have a profound impact on a community, making it extremely attractive to start-up companies, which are essential to a strong economic recovery.

With this in mind, the HALOS Act takes on the burdensome regulations placed on start-ups that hinder them from getting off the ground, and this bill would allow more communities throughout the Fifth District and across the United States to see the same successes Charlottesville has seen over the past five years.  The capital investment successes seen in Charlottesville should be the norm across our nation, not the exception.

A logical extension of the JOBS Act, the HALOS Act would ensure small business start-ups are not negatively impacted by a rule that makes it much more difficult for entrepreneurs to interact with investors without violating securities laws.  While the JOBS Act was implemented to spur American job creation and economic growth, in part by improving access to capital for entrepreneurs, the SEC imposed laws often make this process too costly and difficult to achieve success.  With the passage of the HALOS Act, hope is restored that these start-ups may be afforded a greater opportunity that they deserve.

Where others will not lead, the House of Representatives remains committed to doing so. That is why we remain focused on adopting legislation that will remove the federal government as a barrier to job creation across Virginia’s Fifth District and beyond.  The package of bills passed by the House Financial Services Committee is critical to removing unnecessary regulations placed on small businesses, and I look forward to their consideration by the full House of Representatives.

Most importantly, these bills will give our small business owners across Central and Southside Virginia the ability to develop and grow at a time when so many are closing their doors.  This legislation is the kind this country needs to turn the corner from a struggling economy to the America we have known for generations – a country of limited government and unlimited opportunity.

If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.

Robert Hurt represents Virginia’s Fifth District in Congress.


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