No, not the election. But a revolutionary change in securities law. Last week, in a 3-2 decision, the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) tweaked a bunch of regulations concerning investment crowdfunding. The headliner change increased the maximum amount a company can raise in a year from $1 million to $5 million, which means that many more mature small and medium scale businesses can now seek funding from grassroots investors. It also opens up opportunities for cities to raise capital for small projects, and for real estate developers to raise capital for downtown development and affordable housing.
I won’t bore you with the details on most of the other changes. People with higher incomes and greater wealth can invest more. “Integration” of crowdfunding raises with other fundraising efforts is now easier. These reforms are all important, but the one change that excites me the most—and almost no one is paying attention to—concerns “testing the waters.” Put in plain terms, this change allows grassroots investors and businesses to have conversations with one another online about the possibility of deals.