Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Support Startup Jobs, Innovation, and Small Businesses

April 9, 2019 by Sean Trambley
Branch founder and CEO Atif Siddiqi says “Our North Star is finding ways to add value to workers’ lives.” The company was started in Los Angeles in 2015.

This week, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Pat Toomey R-Pa., announced the introduction of the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act, legislation that would support small businesses by removing burdensome restrictions from individuals who want to invest in startups and help create jobs.

In order to secure capital to grow their businesses, entrepreneurs commonly attend “demo days” or conferences that allow them to showcase their business in front of angel investors and venture capitalists.

It is estimated that angel investors provide 90 percent of outside equity to help grow these startups. Due to recent burdensome regulations, angel investors have been deterred from attending demo days, which harms economic growth. The HALOS Act would preserve important investor vetting processes without forcing startups to jump through unnecessary hoops to get the investments they need to grow and create new jobs.

U.S. Senators Brian Schatz D-Hawaii, Thom Tillis R-N.C., Kyrsten Sinema D-Ariz., and John Thune R-S.D. cosponsored the legislation.

“Across Connecticut in places like New Haven and Stamford, innovators are creating hundreds of jobs and fueling job growth,” Murphy said. “Entrepreneurs should be able to realize their dream of starting a business, and investors should be able to back these businesses without a bunch of unnecessary roadblocks in their way. I’m reintroducing the HALOS Act, because when startup companies grow – they grow fast. We should be doing everything we can to support small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

“My brothers and I used our savings to open restaurants in the Lehigh Valley and Lancaster. We worked day and night to make them a success and eventually created hundreds of jobs,” said Toomey. “Entrepreneurs face a unique set of risks and challenges when starting a business. By expanding access to capital, startups are better equipped to immediately innovate, hire more workers, and ultimately succeed. The HALOS Act would go a long way in accomplishing this goal.”

“Access to capital remains a top challenge for many aspiring entrepreneurs, and as a result, expanding opportunities for investment has been a key focus for the Small Business Committee,” said Representative Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, ranking member of the House Small Business Committee.  

Representatives Chabot and Brad Schneider, D-Ill., introduced the companion legislation in the House. The bipartisan bill passed the House in the 115th Congress.

“The HALOS Act would eliminate yet another unnecessary regulatory burden, allowing small businesses to connect with angel investors through “demo days” to showcase their products and innovations,” Chabot said. “Congress must expand new avenues for entrepreneurs to access necessary capital so that small businesses can continue to drive the American economy to record highs.”

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