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Obama signs JOBS Act into law

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Obama signs JOBS Act into law
WASHINGTON D.C. – – President Barack Obama called the signing of the JOBS Act Thursday a “potential game changer” for startups and small businesses that have been hampered by tight credit and antiquated investing laws.

“This is a country that has always been on the cutting edge and the reason is because America has always had the most daring entrepreneurs in the world,” Obama said at a Rose Garden ceremony. “When their ideas take root we get inventions that can change the way we live. And when their businesses take off, more people become employed because, overall, new businesses account for almost every new job that’s created in America.”

Before signing the bill, Obama expressed respect for the entrepreneurs that pitch investors day after day.

“Some meetings go well, and some meetings don’t go well. That’s true for me too,” he joked, getting laughter from the audience. “If these entrepreneurs are willing to keep giving their all, the least Washington can do is to help them succeed.”

The JOBS Act — the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act — aims to ease access to money for small businesses and startups. The bill also helps entrepreneurs find investors through online “crowdfunding,” allowing all Americans to invest in new companies. For more mature companies, the bill reduces the red tape involved in publicly selling stock.

Both Republicans and Democrats say small businesses are key to creating jobs and the bill, including an amendment to protect crowdfund investors, had bipartisan support in Congress. It also reflects provisions initially put forth by Obama and the StartUp America initiative that launched at the White House last year and won the support of many Congressional Republicans.

“This bill represents exactly the kind of bipartisan action we should be taking in Washington to help our economy,” Obama said. “I’ve always said the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not the government. Our job is to help our companies grow and hire.”

Among those who joined Obama for the ceremony: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.). AOL co-founder Steve Case, a leading proponent of the legislation, stood with them as well.

Cantor echoed Obama’s call for cooperation and urged bipartisan support of a bill that would cut taxes for small businesses “so they can retain and hire more people.”

“It strikes the proper balance to allow small business people just a little easier time seeking investors and accessing capital so they can grow,” Cantor told reporters after the signing. “I hear anecdotally throughout my district in Richmond, Virginia and throughout the country it is too hard right now for small businesses to get up off the ground and grow. This bill responds to that difficulty and says we’re committed in America, we’re open for business.”

The bill’s success will strengthen the administration’s relationships with Silicon Valley technology companies and with the venture capital and private equity communities that fund their growth, said Dean Garfield, president and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, which includes Google, Apple and Microsoft.

“This is an issue that the administration was involved in from the beginning to end and can claim credit for moving,” Garfield said. “While the JOBS Act is a win for the President, to get the Valley more broadly energized it would be helpful to move additional priorities that have wide appeal,” such as cyber security legislation and targeted immigration reform.

Source: Politico Image: Courant 5 April 2012

3:05 p.m. P.D.T.

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