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Weekly Column: House Passes My Bill to Strengthen SW MI Economy

I am happy to share with you that my legislation to strengthen opportunity, investment, and small business across Southwest Michigan passed the U.S. House unanimously last week! The current definition used by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to identify “accredited investors” is outdated. It is solely and wrongly based on a person’s wealth or, more specifically, on their net income. This antiquated view limits funding for small business startups and shuts everyday Americans out of our capital markets. You shouldn’t have to be a millionaire to be an accredited investor, which is why I introduced H.R. 1579, the Accredited Investor Definition Review Act.

I believe 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 itself. The Accredited Investor Definition Review Act would require the SEC to incorporate additional “certifications, designations, or credentials that further the purpose of the accredited investor definition.” By making this change to the definition of an accredited investor, we can open a portion of our capital markets to more Americans.

The Accredited Investor Definition Review Act is about leveling the playing field. Whether it’s in Benton Harbor or St. Joe, Kalamazoo or Portage, or maybe right here in Coloma, Watervliet, or Hartford, investors should be able to support small business startups in their local community.

This legislation is a commonsense modernization that creates an opportunity to unlock precious capital and open doors for small business job creators. The Accredited Investor Definition Review Act now heads to the Senate where I hope it will be met with strong bipartisan support. Let’s get this done to strengthen our economy, create new opportunities, and support innovation at the local level here in Southwest Michigan and across the nation. 

If you need help navigating a federal agency, please visit Huizenga.House.Gov or call my office in Holland at (616) 251-6741 or in Washington at (202) 225-4401 so we can assist you. 

This column originally appeared in the Tri-City Record on June 15, 2023

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