Public Policy

By: Pat Gouhin, Chief Executive Officer

The U.S. House of Representative has just passed the historic $2.2 trillion dollar COVID-19 emergency relief bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to speed recovery across the U.S. economy.  These funds will be distributed to individuals, businesses and states in response to the coronavirus pandemic under H.R. 748. 

By: Pat Gouhin, Chief Executive Officer

As the devastation of COVID-19 continues to leave small businesses and non-profit organizations in its wake, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Collins, and the Rubio-Collins Small Business Recovery Plan task force have been working around the clock to develop a non-partisan package to protect organizations.  The goal of the bill is to empower current infrastructure at the Small Business Administration for the Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act.  Senators Rubio and Collins are calling for banks and credit unions to scale up their processes to meet the extraordinary needs we are currently facing. 

By: Greg Mesack, Partner at GrayRobinson

The Angel Capital Association (ACA) is constantly advocating on behalf of its members in Washington, DC.  While ACA’s members are supporting startups and entrepreneurs, your association is working to ensure that the government does not create roadblocks to your mission. 

By: Pat Gouhin, Chief Executive Officer

In late 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed amendments to the existing “Accredited Investor” definition to increase access to investment opportunities.  The additions include new categories to the definition that would allow for someone to qualify as an accredited investor based on professional certifications and designations, or other credentials issued by an accredited education institution.  The SEC is not proposing changing the thresholds for an accredited investor and those are expected to stay as is.  A 60-day public comment period was provided in which the Angel Capital Association submitted a response letter for further clarification and expansion of sections of the proposed updates. 

By Marianne Hudson, Executive Director Emeritus

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a concept paper seeking comments on “harmonizing” securities offering exemptions a few months ago.  These exemptions, like Regulation D, which investors rely on for more than half of all private offerings, set the rules for how securities can be bought and sold without extensive registrations. This SEC paper provided a truly unprecedented opportunity for organizations like ACA to suggest improvements to regulations that impact angels and the startup companies we support. 

By: Pat Gouhin, Chief Executive Officer

I just returned from another trip to Washington, DC where I teamed up with our tax coalition partners; National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) , Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed).  We conducted a series of congressional visits with key representatives from the tax writing Senate Committee on Finance and House Committee on Ways and Means. We also met with the Assistant to the President for Financial Policy on the National Economic Council.  This coalition, started by ACA over four years ago by Public Policy Chairman David Verrill, brings a consistent voice to US tax policy that impacts investors and entrepreneurs. It is managed by ACA’s consultants at GrayRobinson.

By: Pat Gouhin, Chief Executive Officer

As part of the staff leadership transition, Marianne Hudson and I recently joined forces in Washington, DC with Chris McCannell and Greg Mesack of GrayRobinson, ACA’s government affairs consultants.  Chris and Greg orchestrated a series of visits with legislators on both sides of the aisle, senior agency executives and other key partners in pursuit of ACA’s 2019 Public Policy Plan.  Meeting objectives included introductions to key allies, as well as re-emphasizing plan priorities which included: 

By: Chris McCannell, Partner at Eris Group

Editor’s Note:  Eris Group is ACA’s federal advocacy firm, providing our association with advice and connections on Capitol Hill, the White House and federal government agencies.  Their expertise and extensive network has helped ACA make considerable headway in Washington, DC.  Below is a note on our accomplishments and work together in 2018.

2018 was another successful year of public policy engagement for the Angel Capital Association. Eris Group is pleased to represent your association in Washington, DC.  Last year we continued to build productive relationships with Members of Congress, regulators, public officials and high-level policy leaders in the early stage capital ecosystem that led to a useful new law for angel funds and supportive tax policies.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Recent progress to the American Innovation Act of 2018 (AKA “tax reform 2.0”) to include a proposal to protect Net Operating Losses (NOLs) of startups has the Angel Capital Association cheering.  ACA, along with the National Venture Capital Association, Biotechnology Innovation Organization and AdvaMed called for Congress to address an unintended consequence of rules blocking “loss trafficking.” The bill was introduced to reform rules that can unintentionally punish startups for attracting investments to support the growth of their companies.  Reform to the existing rules, written in the mid-1980s, will have significant impact on startup companies and their ability to gain full valuation for additional investments and exits.

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the board meeting of the Center for American Entrepreneurship.  This non-profit, non-partisan organization provides education and advocacy on the critical importance of entrepreneurs and startups to innovation, economic growth and job creation to America’s policymakers.  CAE has advocated for several issues that ACA cares about.

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