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This week marks the final stages of the Challenge Cup, an international pitch competition to identify some of the most promising start-up businesses in highly regulated sectors such as healthcare, energy, and education. The Chamber is proud to be a partner in this competition, which – in addition to identifying some good ideas – helps to promote the principles of free enterprise and entrepreneurship.
The Challenge Cup also serves as a good reminder of the importance that our capital markets play in encouraging growth and innovation in our economy.
As the name of this competition implies, behind every innovation or small business startup, there are investors who saw an opportunity and took the challenge by putting their capital at risk to turn an idea into a thriving business. These investors can take many forms over the lifetime of a company – from borrowing money from an uncle or obtaining investment from a venture capital fund, to shareholders who buy stock in a seasoned company through the public markets. And it’s no coincidence that the American economy – the strongest and most vibrant in the history of the world – is also home to the world’s most dynamic capital markets.
But in recent years federal laws and regulations have made it increasingly difficult to connect investors with promising businesses. In 2007, the Chamber created the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (CCMC) to help arrest this trend, and since that time, we have advocated for policies that help promote capital formation and maintain America’s edge in the global markets.
A great example is our support of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, a major bipartisan achievement that was signed into law in 2012. Turns out Congress can get some things done.
The JOBS Act is already showing results, both for businesses seeking investors through private channels, and companies looking to file for an initial public offering (IPO). This is big news as studies show that after companies go public, they create jobs. And that’s what we’re all about.
While the JOBS Act was a big step forward, there’s more that can be done. Last week, the House Financial Services Committee began consideration of a number of bills that will further break down barriers to capital formation. The Chamber applauds the committee and sent a letter of support for these bills. We will continue to work with all members of Congress to ensure that businesses are able to obtain the capital they need to innovate, expand, and hire new workers.
As we reach the conclusion of the Challenge Cup and honor small businesses during National Small Business Week, the Chamber looks forward to continuing our fight to make America’s capital markets an engine of growth and job creation for our economy.