Also see: Small Business Growth Matters--The JOBS Act: One Year Later
Feit was one of the players that helped to get the JOBS Act passed last year and since then has been active with the SEC, Congress and White House in an attempt to move the regulations along and open equity crowdfunding to the masses. But only Title I--which allows companies with less than $1 billion in revenue to register with the SEC confidentially and include only two years of disclosure, not three--has been implemented. Criticism abounds given that this provision, intended to open the IPO market to emerging growth companies, has had middling success. Overcoming Inertia Still, the JOBS Act hasn't quite been given a fair shake at this point. "It's definitely too early to judge the JOBS Act, because a lot of the pieces haven't been implemented yet," said Dara Albright, founder of NowStreet, a financial media, events and advisory company with expertise in the JOBS Act. Michael T. Williams, a lawyer who runs Williams Securities Law Firm , a firm in Tampa, Flor. that for 38 years has worked with smaller companies going public, said that although the JOBS Act had not yet had significant impact on smaller businesses, the potential for future positive impact remains strong. "Although limited to private offerings where all of the investors are accredited as defined in Regulation D, this represents the first opportunity startup and early stage companies have had to advertise for investors on the internet and elsewhere," Williams said. "What's the hang up? The SEC was required to adopt rules to implement this provision by July 4, 2012. Instead, the SEC has merely issued proposed rules for comment and has not adopted a final rule. Thus startup and early stage companies still cannot utilize this provision of the JOBS Act." Part of the SEC slow-down has been the turnover within the federal agency. Mary Shapiro, the SEC commissioner during the implementation of the JOBS Act, was slowing the process down on purpose, according to Feit. Elise Walters replaced her, and then Obama's nomination for Mary Jo White finally got approved this April. Title II was supposed to kick in July of last year but is still unrealized, and Title III could be six months to a year away.