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What Does the JOBS Act Do?
Christian Science Monitor | March 08, 2012 | 12:31 PM EST

House Republicans say it’s time for a jobs bill — literally. They are pushing their Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act as a way to help small-business owners by cutting back on regulation, easing entrepreneurs' ability to raise capital, and making modifications to investing in community banks. And here's a news flash: The bill has bipartisan support. So, what's in it?

What's in the JOBS Act?

Six discrete bills, all tied up with a bow. Together, they would have the following impacts:

1. Raises the number of shareholders a company can have before it is forced to go public. You could call this part The Facebook Act. Facebook, among others, was growing rapidly as a private company but quickly bumped up against the 500-shareholder limit, reducing its ability to compensate employees in one of the main coins of the Silicon Valley realm: stock. The new limit would be 1,000.

2. Permits entrepreneurs to “crowd-fund” their businesses — that is, would let small businesses raise money from large pools of small investors (limited to $10,000 or 10 percent of an investor's annual income, whichever is less).

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