VIDEO: House Passes Huizenga Bill to Strengthen Investment, Small Biz, and Opportunity in SW Michigan
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Congressman Huizenga’s Accredited Investor Definition Review Act. This legislation is designed to strengthen small business, investment opportunities, and access to our capital markets for Southwest Michigan residents and individuals across America.
Currently, one of the qualifications the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) uses to determine an accredited investor is an asset threshold of one million dollars. This antiquated view limits funding for small business startups and shuts everyday Americans out of this portion of our capital markets.
Prior to the voice vote, Congressman Huizenga spoke in support of the Accredited Investor Definition Review Act and detailed how it opens doors for both investors and small businesses in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, and communities throughout Michigan and across the nation.
On Opening Capital Markets to Strengthen Small Business and Opportunity
While investors often turn to their local communities for support, they often lack the ability to reach those investors, those truly accredited investors, who can make a huge impact.
The current definition the SEC uses to identify accredited investors is outdated and based solely and wrongly on wealth and net income. You shouldn’t have to be a millionaire to be an accredited investor.
The ability to participate in a private offering should not be limited to individuals that pass some type of federal government assets test. Instead, participation should be expanded to include all individuals that demonstrate they have a sufficient understanding of the offering.
My legislation is about leveling the playing field. Whether it’s in Kalamazoo or Portage, Benton Harbor or St Joe, or Battle Creek or Springfield, investors should be able to support small business startups in their local community across Southwest Michigan and around the nation.
The Startup/Investment Stories of Omi and David
During our bipartisan effort, we have heard uplifting stories from Americans who inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Omi Bell founded Black Girl Ventures, an organization focused on providing women of color with access to community networks, capital, and capacity building to develop and grow their businesses. Omi does that right here in Washington, DC.
Omi testified before the Subcommittee on Capital Markets that her mother invested 10,000 dollars of her own retirement to support Omi’s first business venture. Yet her mom was not considered an accredited investor, and despite her desire to support her daughter’s ambitions she could have been disallowed from investing.
We also heard testimony from David Olivencia. He’s the CEO and Co-Founder of Angeles Investors, who, while earning his MBA from Notre Dame, learned about startups and how early-stage investments could lead to outsized returns.
Unfortunately for David, as he said he told his story, he said he did not qualify as an accredited investor, because his immigrant family did not have wealth that he could inherit. That is a horrible way to decide whether someone should or can invest in a dream. I can tell you this, the stories of Omi and David are all too common in the investment world.