The House of Reps down in DC passed a bill recently that's near and dear to my heart called the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act. In what is being called as one of the few examples of bipartisanship in the last several months/years, the bill was passed by the house by a whopping 407-17 vote and is now on the floor of the Senate . . . where it is also expected to pass. And it already has the blessing of the President!
What is the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act?
Well, it's crowd-funding. :-) (Now do you get why it's near and dear to my ol' ticker? See this, if you need a reminder.)
That's right . . . rather than resort to the non-profit Kickstarter model, under this bill, entrepreneurs would be allowed to raise investment money from accredited or unaccredited investors in small amounts, up to $2mm (subject to rules and regs, of course).
Now, that $2 mil cap makes this very unlikely to be used for a Broadway production . . . but, could this new legislation be used for an Off-Broadway production? Or Off-Off-Broadway? It's too early to say definitively, of course . . . because you know Congress . . . they'll probably tack on a few earmarks to the bill that require anyone raising money this way to also raise sheep in Wisconsin or stick their tongue to a flag pole in Winter. But it's looking damn good.
Seriously, though, the Senate still has to pass it on, and they are still tinkering with details to ensure that investors are well protected (there is talk of creating a universal platform to accept funds to limit fraud, etc.). But WHEN it does pass, this act will revolutionize the way the small businessman and woman raise money in this country . . . and many of those men and women are theater producers.
As someone who crowd-funded a show using the regulations available to me that were created in 1933 (!), I can tell you that I'm very happy to hear that the times are a changin' to make it a less arduous, less expensive and quicker process. (I had a convo with a member of the White House staff about this very subject after Godspell was announced last year.)
In fact, I'll be calling the sponsor of this bill, Congressman Patrick McHenry, tomorrow to see if there's anything I can do to help support this sucker as it makes its way to the desk of the Pres.
The most common question I get from people that want to do what I do is . . . how do I raise money for my show? There's a lot of people out there that want to build businesses, they just need an easier way to get going. Hopefully, an Act like this will help.
To read all about this Bill and a few others that were passed to help make raising money easier, click here.
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