By Rory Eakin, COO and co-founder of CircleUpNEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Today at a Joint Committee Hearing in Congress, legislators will be hearing from small business owners about the importance of implementation of the Jobs Act, the much publicized, and criticized (including from TheStreet
As a result, less than 5% of eligible investors participate in the market, despite attractive historical returns. As an example, in consumer and retail alone, historically individual investors have received an average return of 3.6x their money in 4.4 years. Those types of returns require diversification, and patience, but many advisers would recommend an allocation within a well-diversified long-term portfolio ... if the investor can gain access.The lift in the ban on general solicitation does not change the risk, or reward, of this asset class. It simply gives investors the option to make a choice about where they want to invest. Small Businesses: For businesses, particularly those outside of the technology sector, in many cases the old rules force managers to spend more time fundraising than running the actual business. Take the example of Episencial, the maker of baby-safe, all-natural skincare products. After several years of product development and early traction in the market, Kim Walls, the founder and CEO of Episencial, had a passionate following of customers, parents and supporters interested in helping the business grow. Yet, because of current regulations, Kim could not make even a passing mention of the opportunity to invest in Episencial to her 20,000 fans on Facebook ( FB). Instead, she had completed her fundraising successfully only after establishing relationships with angel investors, many of whom were not yet familiar with the brand. Those most interested in supporting the company were denied the opportunity, while those least familiar with the story were permitted. How does that make sense? Job Creation: The businesses and investors with the most to gain from the change in this rule are those currently outside of the established VC hubs around Silicon Valley, Cambridge and New York. This is about spurring entrepreneurship and unlocking small business growth opportunities, and job creation, in every corner of America -- including in cities and towns that many of today's entrenched investors would not likely consider. It is about increasing the amount of information, and choice, for investors everywhere. Two weeks ago, the SEC put forth a workable set of rules to improve the flow of information within this market. The staff has worked to balance the rules for companies, like CircleUp, that are working to connect investors and small businesses across the country. When adopted, the rules will increase the amount of information available to prospective investors and companies. The time is now to implement these rules, fulfilling the mandate enacted with broad, bipartisan support in Congress and President Obama's approval. With unemployment at more than 8%, and investors hungry for diversification following years of disappointing performance in public markets, we can't afford to wait.