Michigan Municipal League, Representative Nancy Jenkins Push for Local Stock Exchanges.
A bill pending in the state House of Michigan to create local stock exchanges to support small businesses would be the first of its kind in not only Michigan, but in the nation. The Michigan Municipal League enthusiastically supports HB 5273 sponsored by Rep. Nancy Jenkins, R-Clayton. The proposed bill would complement the crowdfunding bill signed into law by Governor Snyder in January 2014. The crowdfunding bill, also sponsored by Jenkins and endorsed by the League, breezed through the Michigan House and Senate with unanimous, bi-partisan support.
“The crowdfunding law and this related HB 5273 are game-changers to grow prosperity and develop a sense of place in our communities. It will further propel and enhance our economy,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Making these cutting-edge local investment opportunities a reality would send an amazing ‘Michigan is pro-business’ message to entrepreneurs throughout the world.”
HB 5273 defines and permits in-state stock exchanges which would give small businesses the chance to make local investments more flexible, increasing the likelihood of success in crowdfunding efforts. It would open the way for Michigan businesses to put themselves on a local stock exchange and allow Michigan residents to buy stocks from those businesses on the stock exchange list.
The local stock exchange would be regulated in HB 5273 and registered with the state. The larger stock exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange, are not reachable for the smaller companies.
“Local stock exchanges would be a great way to afford a similar opportunity but on a smaller scale,” Rep. Jenkins said. “These local businesses—the very ones growing the Michigan economy—may not be up to the national stock exchange level, but they are in need of funding just like any business. And the crowdfunding concept gives everyday residents an opportunity to support those local entrepreneurs by helping fund their initial efforts in exchange for some sort of return on investment. This new opportunity is the most innovative in the country and allows people to take control of their community development by engaging directly in the process of supporting the businesses in which they believe. It allows citizens to invest in Main Street rather than Wall Street and supports entrepreneurs and communities in a way that will evoke pride and excitement among Michiganders.”
The League is so excited about economic possibilities with crowdfunding in Michigan communities that it is taking a lead in the movement in the state. The League will educate its member communities about crowdfunding during two sessions at its upcoming Capital Conference Wednesday, March 19, in Lansing.