With the so-called JOBS Act — which stands for the ‘Jump-start Our Business Start-ups’ and is a trickle-down approach to getting Americans to work — set to pass the House today and make its way to the president’s desk as early as tomorrow, one wonders what kind of small businesses would be helped by the legislation. The White House said in a statement, “Helping startups and small businesses succeed and create jobs is fundamental to having an economy built to last,” but the law exempts from disclosure requirements companies collecting $1 million from online investors, allows companies with 2,000 shareholders and $10 million in assets to avoid IPOs (and the disclosures that come along with that), and allows companies with under $1 billion in revenue to avoid some disclosures when they do go public. What kind of “small business” has $1 billion in revenue? It turns out that the federal government has a long and storied history with designating certain business as “small,” regardless of whether they fit the colloquial understanding of a small business or not.
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