WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) on Monday announced the introduction of the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act, legislation that would support small businesses by removing burdensome restrictions from individuals who want to invest in startups and help create jobs. U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and John Thune (R-S.D.) cosponsored the legislation.
In order to secure capital to grow their businesses, entrepreneurs commonly attend “demo days” or conferences that allow them to showcase their business in front of angel investors and venture capitalists. It is estimated that angel investors provide 90 percent of outside equity to help grow these startups. Due to recent burdensome regulations, angel investors have been deterred from attending demo days, which harms economic growth. The HALOS Act would preserve important investor vetting processes without forcing startups to jump through unnecessary hoops to get the investments they need to grow and create new jobs.
“Across Connecticut in places like New Haven and Stamford, innovators are creating hundreds of jobs and fueling job growth,” said Murphy. “Entrepreneurs should be able to realize their dream of starting a business, and investors should be able to back these businesses without a bunch of unnecessary roadblocks in their way. I’m reintroducing the HALOS Act, because when startup companies grow – they grow fast. We should be doing everything we can to support small businesses and entrepreneurs.”
“My brothers and I used our savings to open restaurants in the Lehigh Valley and Lancaster. We worked day and night to make them a success and eventually created hundreds of jobs,” said Toomey. “Entrepreneurs face a unique set of risks and challenges when starting a business. By expanding access to capital, startups are better equipped to immediately innovate, hire more workers, and ultimately succeed. The HALOS Act would go a long way in accomplishing this goal.”
“Access to capital remains a top challenge for many aspiring entrepreneurs, and as a result, expanding opportunities for investment has been a key focus for the Small Business Committee,” said Ranking Member Chabot, author of the U.S. House companion bill. “The HALOS Act would eliminate yet another unnecessary regulatory burden, allowing small businesses to connect with angel investors through “demo days” to showcase their products and innovations. Congress must expand new avenues for entrepreneurs to access necessary capital so that small businesses can continue to drive the American economy to record highs.”
“Small business investors play a crucial role in allowing start-ups to grow and create more jobs, but too often face unnecessary regulatory requirements that deter investment,” said Tillis. “This bipartisan legislation will remove burdensome regulations so we can invest in our small business and continue to grow our economy.”
“A growing group of dynamic startups call our state home,” said Sinema. “Our bill makes it easier for Arizona startups to access investment funding, so they can move forward, help grow our economy, and create good-paying jobs in Arizona.”
“As our economy continues to grow, it is essential for Congress to continue to enact policies that support our nation’s small businesses and start-ups by creating an environment that allows them to expand and hire more workers,” said Thune. “I am pleased to again reintroduce the bipartisan HALOS Act that would help fulfill that mission by ensuring these businesses can continue to use certain promotional events to obtain capital from angel investors without being subject to unnecessary federal regulations.”
U.S. Representative Steve Chabot (OH-1) and Brad Schneider (IL-10) introduced the HALOS Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bipartisan bill passed the House in the 115th Congress.