Investment limits, background checks on issuers, and portals registered with the SEC and FINRA will ensure ample disclosure and investor education. Plus, instead of having investors trade mere ticker symbols, Albright says, people can invest in something they truly believe in as a labor of love.
"People have a different rewards when they're crowdfunding," Albright said. "They're funding, because they believe in the business or they genuinely like the product. They feel that this is a company that has a beneficial impact on society."
The ability for small companies to cast a wide net in funding opportunities marks a new frontier for business by also allowing unaccredited investors to join the fray and put money into a company. Money idly sitting on the sidelines could join the game. In the past, companies had to use the Reg D 506, but now companies will have the opportunity to use the crowdfunding exemption, that is if the SEC stops kicking the can.
But not allowing the plan a trial run with all its pieces in order has put a damper on its potential.
Social Media Aggregators: Old Dog, New Blog
"All this turn-over at the SEC means there's been nobody to put the rules to a vote," Feit said. "We have been working closely with the SEC for a year now and it is troubling for every startup out there that politics and turnover at the SEC will likely delay implementation of the JOBS Act for a full year. There is a substantial amount at stake including America's edge on innovation, jobs and the entire economy given that startups and small businesses account for half our country's GDP and two thirds of our new job growth."
The Promising Future--Too Early To Judge
Initiatives similar to the JOBS Act abroad have shown crowdfunding to provide an economic shot in the arm. The Australian Small Scale Offerings Boards raised $130 million over the last five years for 132 companies without a single case of fraud. In the U.K., more than 1,200 companies have raised capital on crowdfunding site FundingCircle.com over the last two years, and there have been zero cases of fraud and only a 1.5% default rate. It is working so well that the British government even injected £20 million ($31 million) into the site to spur small business lending.