Summary of the bill:
The WV Small Business Capital Act or most commonly known as the Intrastate Crowdfunding Bill, allows for WV companies to sell equity investment or ownership in their company to WV residents via an online portal. The investor may be unaccredited with a max cap of investment set at $10,000 or an accredited investor if they comply with that SEC definition.  The companies must be headquartered in WV, and the investors must reside in WV, thus the “Intra-state” name.

How this bill progressed through the legislature:
This bill was originated in 2015 by Delegates Patrick Lane, and Larry Faircloth and passed the House, but was tabled by the Senate last year due to time. It was re-introduced by the same sponsors, with co-sponsors Carol Miller, Cindy Frich, and Eric Nelson added. It was also supported by numerous small business entities and advocates from all across WV, as well as the Secretary of State, and the State Auditor’s Office.  This bi-partisan bill passed unanimously through all committees in both the House and Senate with a unanimous passage on both floors.

What this bill means for WV:
This is a brand new form of capital that can be tapped for businesses who are just starting out or looking to expand.  It’s a form of funding that is local-vested. So you can have that mimosa, at your local café on a Sunday, and buy stock or ownership in that business using this portal. The more a person shops at the locations that they’re invested in, the more profitable that location becomes and the more dividends the investor will receive in the end.  It’s a great trickle down effect that has enormous potential to organically change WV’s economic landscape.

Next Steps:
This bill was signed by Gov. Tomblin and will go into effect at the end of June. The next step is building an online portal which complies with all of the rules and regulations that the state outlined in this bill as well as Title III SEC guidelines.  A special group of developers, and designers in WV are all working hard right now to build, and test said online portal in anticipation of the initial roll out in June.

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