House Passes Bi-Partisan Legislation Requiring SEC to Report on Capital Challenges for Rural Small Businesses

The Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act, (HR 298) has passed the House of Representatives. The legislation has both Democrat and Republican sponsors.

The legislation would require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to submit an annual report on the challenges rural small businesses face in accessing capital. Under current law, the Commission must report on challenges encountered by minority-owned small businesses, women-owned small businesses, and small businesses affected by natural disasters.

The legislation was one of three bipartisan bills that received House approval today, according to a statement distributed by the House Financial Services Committee.

The other bills passed include initiatives to combat the financial exploitation of vulnerable adults and streamline federal credit union board meeting requirements.

Chairman of the Committee, Patrick McHenry, commented:

“In rural areas, every small business and entrepreneur counts. They are the lifeblood of the local economy, and their success is critical to the success of their community.”

West Virginia Representative Alex X. Mooney, a bill sponsor, said:

“Rural communities face a wide variety of difficulties when it comes to getting the funding they need to launch a small business. This bill would make it easier for rural small businesses to navigate bureaucracy and grow their businesses.”

Expectations are for the House Financial Services Committee to pursue other legislation that improves the environment for raising capital for smaller firms. Some of the legislation is outlined in the JOBS Act 4.0, which was announced last year.

Critics have chastised the current leadership at the SEC as not pursuing a capital formation agenda while attempting to incorporate new rules for a social agenda that actually undermines capital formation and harms smaller firms.

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