Martinez is proud of its many small businesses and the weather they've toughed in the last few years. But in a tumultuous economy, when staying afloat is hard enough — how could local entrepreneurs possibly thrive?
President Obama sees an answer in his freshly signed bill, the Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups (JOBS) act. The bill aims to create jobs and encourage entrepreneurs by making it easier for small businesses to publicly fundraise and investors to do what they do best.
The JOBS act will kick into gear in 90 days, when private businesses will be able to publicly solicit funding thanks to the lifting of the "general solicitation" ban for start-ups. Currently, private businesses have to be willing to make an initial public offering (IPO) of company stock before they can start asking the public for money. Most companies need to be pretty stable and financially sound before they do this, since it includes making all financial records public and also gaining another set of stakeholders to answer to. Facebook, for example, just filed its IPO paperwork — eight years after the company's founding, and with a rumored $100 billion of stock on offer.
Obama and the JOB act supporters say the new bill is a boon for Main Street, America. But what will it mean for Main Street, Martinez?
Well, it could mean more entrepreneurs taking a chance on opening a small business here, and more chance that they'll have the financial backing to get a good, strong foot in the door. But an open door for opportunity is also an open door for problems, according to CNET's Rafe Needleman. The act could encourage scammers and fraudsters, and could also mean that a lot of unprepared, "ordinary Joe" investors lose their money when companies fail.
What do you think the JOBS act means for entrepreneurs and small businsses in Martinez? Would you help fund a start up here?