A regional guy is helping to make a distinction in the lives of our homeless here in Cleveland. Dean Roff invests hours gathering items for the homeless then two times a week he personally delive …
Growing a business takes time and perseverance. There is no doubt that you’ll need to struggle a lot initially. However, if you want to make sure that your hard work pays off, you really need to focus on branding.
Branding is all about giving your business an identity that helps your target audience recognize you easily. Only if they do so, you can successfully boost your brand awareness and gain mindshare.
Branding includes elements such as your logo, tagline, your website, your social media profiles, and even your customer support. In short, branding is how you make your brand recognizable so your customers know what they can expect from you.
It is an important factor to consider if you’re looking to get more loyal customers. 77% of B2B marketing leaders are of the opinion that branding is essential to business growth.
However, many small business owners dismiss branding as something that only big businesses can afford. But branding doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive. You can build a good brand if you know how to make your brand memorable.
Powerful Branding Strategies for Small Business Growth
To help you out, here are a few branding strategies that will boost your small business growth.
1. Show that You’re Unique
The first part of your branding strategy should focus on what your brand really stands for.
Think of your brand as a person. Which characteristics set it apart from others in the market? What kind of people is your brand meant to appeal to? You need to be able to find clear answers to these questions before you can delve deeper into branding.
Finding a unique selling point (USP) for your products helps to showcase why consumers should buy your products over others. Perhaps your products are eco-friendly, handmade, or cruelty-free? It could be anything really. Find out what makes your brand unique.
Use this uniqueness to form a brand image by incorporating it into your tagline, logo, and other marketing materials. On your website and social media pages, try to highlight your uniqueness when you are filling in the “About Us” section.
Davidoff, a Swiss premium brand of cigars and perfumes, gets this branding strategy right. On their website as well as on social media, they highlight the fact that they’ve been making cigars for over 50 years. They focus on fine quality cigars, which is also reiterated while showcasing the brand. This way, they’re able to set a key differentiator for their brand.
Davidoff may be a big brand, but small businesses can definitely emulate their branding strategy to boost their growth.
Finding a key differentiator can help you stand out in a market that is dominated by your competitors. It can also help you build a brand identity which can ultimately help you with small business growth.
2. Humanize Your Brand
If you really want to connect with your audience, you need to humanize your brand. That means you need to create stories that showcase your values and mission as a brand. With good storytelling, you can get your message across to your audience without coming across as too pushy.
One way to humanize your brand is to introduce your employees to your audience. Familiarize your audience with the people who work behind the scenes. Showcase their lives and their experiences in the company to add a personal touch to your brand.
A great example of this is McDonald’s. Their Twitter page routinely showcases the achievements of their employees and even uses the platform to congratulate them. On their website too, they have photos as well as descriptions of their top level management team.
Adding a human touch also means that you will need to refrain from being too pushy with advertising. Show, don’t tell. Show your customers what your product or services can do for them. Nothing connects with people more than simple stories that are told well.
Airbnb connects with users on Instagram by telling stories that help to spread their brand’s values. They promote traveling by showcasing the lives of different Airbnb hosts across the world. Their posts provide a snippet of their lives and show viewers what to expect when they stay at their homes.
Even when you’re responding to comments, try to use words like “we” and “us.” This helps build a better image for your brand and also gives it a human touch.
3. Build a Community
Identify a niche or an area of interest that relates to your brand’s mission. It could be anything such as sustainability, travel, fashion, or art.
Once you’ve identified a relevant topic, start a conversation to involve other people who are interested in it. This can help you build a strong brand image and increase awareness about your brand.
To build a community of like-minded people, you need to get them engaged in a conversation. Post photos, videos, or GIFs on social media on topics that your brand cares about. You need to make sure that your topic is something that your target audience is interested in.
If your target audience is moms-to-be, you could post an article on health tips for infants. If your niche is travel, post interesting trivia about different locations and share travel tips.
With this strategy, you are likely to attract people who are genuinely interested in your niche. If you can add value to such topics of interest, there are greater chances of them coming back to you. And, if you can achieve that, you can be sure that you’re on the right path to boost your small business growth.
Once you have gathered people who are interested in the conversation, encourage them to interact. Ask open-ended questions, listen to their opinions, and conduct polls to get more engagement.
Conducting events or starting a club is another great option to boost your small business growth.
Nike positions itself as a brand that cares about fitness, so they started their own Nike+ Run Club. It’s a space for runners to connect and train themselves for marathons. This way, Nike gets greater visibility among fitness enthusiasts.
4. Maintain Consistency
To build a strong brand image, your brand needs to be consistent. Be it the fonts you use, the colors, or your messaging, consistency is key. Consistency can make your brand more familiar and more memorable to your audience.
If blue and black are the colors in your logo, stick to those colors when you create banners for social media. Use the same color scheme in your packaging, advertisements, and on social media to make sure your brand is consistent.
If people can associate a certain logo or color with your brand, they will remember your brand more easily. That’s just a step closer to increasing brand awareness and small business growth.
Think of any big brand, and chances are you’ll remember them by their fonts or logos. Coca-Cola, Hershey’s, or Lay’s are some examples of big brands that have used consistent branding over the years.
Maintaining consistency in your brand can even affect your revenue. A study by Lucidpress found that consistent presentation could increase revenue for a brand by 23%. Consumers are more likely to make a purchase if consistency is maintained. This is because consumers are more likely to notice and internalize your brand values.
Big corporations even create their own style guides to ensure that consistency is maintained. Even small businesses should consider doing the same to establish a strong brand identity. Repetition and consistency can really help with small business growth. Your style guides may not be as exhaustive as that of big organizations, but you still need them in place.
5. Create a Voice for Your Brand
Your brand voice is extremely critical to create a good reputation. Your brand voice will essentially decide your brand’s personality and how you communicate with your customers. It should reflect in your Instagram captions, comments, tweets, Facebook statuses, and blog posts. Your brand voice will decide how your customers perceive your brand.
You need to take your audience into account when you decide whether you want your brand voice to be formal or casual.
Take some time to get to know your audience. Use tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to get some information about your audience. You will easily be able to find age, location, and other demographic information about your audience.
If teenagers are your target audience, using a casual and friendly tone may be a good idea. You can even post memes, GIFs, and funny jokes to get their attention.
However, if your target audience is mostly businessmen, it’s probably wiser to keep the tone professional, yet friendly. Tailor your brand’s content and voice according to your audience.
On social media, what you say is as important as how you say it. Maintaining consistency in your brand voice is also important. You need to decide beforehand what’s acceptable and what’s not.
Is your brand going to use emoticons while communicating with customers online? Will abbreviations, colloquialisms, or slang be acceptable? These are some of the questions you need to be clear on to build a strong and consistent voice for your brand.
Take, for example, the content that online clothing store RebelsMarket, posts.
They want to appeal to rebels – people who question the status quo. So the tone in all their social media posts is provocative and rebellious. This type of content resonates with their audience, however, it may not necessarily fit in with a brand that stresses prudence.
What works for other brands may not work for you if your target audience is different. So align your brand’s tone with your audience interests and voice.
Whatever tone you may choose for your brand, remember to take criticism well on social media. If you find that a customer is dissatisfied with your products or services, it is best to respond politely. You may add humor to it, but you need to be able to handle it well.
6. Involve Users in Brand Advocacy
Every brand needs to promote themselves to get the publicity they need. But what’s the easiest and cheapest way to get endorsements? Getting your users to endorse you.
Social media is evolving and so is the concept of content creation. Brands are no longer the only content creators; users are participants in the process too.
To drive small business growth and brand awareness, leverage user-generated content. Ask people to share their stories that include your brand. Encourage people to post videos and photos of your products and services. In the digital age, this branding strategy can be compared to the traditional word-of-mouth publicity.
This way, you can get someone who has used your products to endorse you. And without seeming too promotional, you can advertise your product successfully.
When people post about your brand, you can also gain more credibility along with visibility. At the same time, you can even post more content without actually creating it yourself.
To maximize its effect on social media, create a custom branded hashtag. You can encourage your audience to use this hashtag while posting about your brand. By doing this, you can also ensure that your brand builds more authority on social media.
You could also feature some of the user-generated content on your own accounts for more engagement. It’ll also help you get some diversity in your content. Let your audience shine in the limelight. This will motivate them to create more content for you.
Buffer is a brand that has seen tremendous success with this branding strategy. After they started posting user-generated content on their Instagram handle, their account grew by almost 400% within just one year.
The best part about this branding strategy is that it requires zero effort on your part. You just have to sit back and let the audience do the advertising for you. It’s definitely one of the simplest ways to increase your small business growth.
7. Get Influencers to Endorse Your Brand
For small business growth, it is important to increase your brand’s visibility and engagement. Influencer marketing can help you with both of these things.
Social media influencers are usually experts in their own niches and have loyal fan followings.
They are role models for their followers. Whatever they eat, wear, and use is noticed by their fans.
So if you can get an influencer to endorse your brand, you can create a good amount of hype around your brand. If they agree to review your product, that’s even better. This adds more credibility to your product.
If you want to boost your sales, you could even ask influencers to share promo codes for your products. Ask them to feature a link back to your profile in their post, so you can get more engagement too.
92% of marketers in a study agreed that influencer marketing is effective. However, for small business growth, you need to use this strategy only after doing proper research. Some influencers may be expensive, so you want to make sure you’re connecting with the right influencers.
Check out their content to see how relevant their posts are to your brand and niche. If they post content that is in your niche consistently, they may be able to help you with your small business growth.
Also check out their social media profiles to see how many followers they have and how many likes, comments, and shares their posts get. This will give you a better idea of how many people you can expect to reach through their social media channels.
Swedish brand, FOREO Nordics, was able to utilize this branding strategy effectively to increase their engagement. They collaborated with fashion blogger, Janni Deler, who featured their products on her page. The post received more than 30,000 likes in less than a week.
Keep in mind though, that there are a lot of unreliable and fake influencers out there. So you need to be very careful while collaborating with them.
Grin can make the whole process of influencer marketing easier for you. You can get access to verified information and filter influencers based on niches, locations, or platforms.
After you’ve set up your campaign on Grin, you can discuss branding strategies with influencers. You can send them your products to review or showcase via the platform. We’ve even got a system for payment, so everything is taken care of.
8. Let Your Brand Take a Stand
Your brand will grow only if it can truly connect with your audience. One way to earn the trust of like-minded people is to show them that your brand cares about a social cause. Take a bold stance on any cause that’s aligned with the values of your brand.
By doing this, you will be able to show consumers that your brand truly cares about society. In this strategy, you’re not actively promoting your product, but using your brand to spread a message. This strategy works because your brand gets a chance to showcase how socially conscious you are.
A study conducted by Edelman delved into this aspect of a consumer-brand relationship. The study revealed that 57% of consumers will either buy or boycott a brand based on its stance on social issues. 30% of consumers even admitted to making purchase decisions based on this.
Many brands avoid taking a stance on social issues from fear of offending others who do not share their beliefs. True, everyone may not agree with your stance. But that’s the exact reason why you should take a stance. Your brand can bring together like-minded people with a social cause.
Social causes can help your brand attract people who share similar ideals. And they will be more likely to connect with your brand and stay loyal to it. You need to be careful about tackling social causes though, as a lot of sensitive issues can be involved.
Among the list of big brands who have used this branding strategy successfully, Procter and Gamble stands out. Their brand for feminine hygiene products, Always, started the #LikeAGirl campaign to support women’s empowerment.
It was first ideated in 2014, and after its huge success, the campaign was brought back last year. Their video on YouTube has more than three million views. Not just that, it has succeeded in starting a conversation about women’s empowerment on various social media platforms.
Always managed to take a bold social stance and attract those who cared about the issue. WIth it, they were able to get some positive publicity as well.
9. Interlink Your Social Media Accounts
For small business growth, you will need to tap into the power of social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are channels in which your brand needs to be present. YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are other options that you may want to consider based on your target audience.
Social media allows you to reach more people and get tell them more about your brand. But if you want to expand your social media presence, you should interlink all your social media profiles.
So, for example, the “About” section on Facebook shouldn’t just have a written description of your brand. You should also include links to your Instagram and Twitter profiles and your website. This gives a call-to-action to those who are interested in your brand. They can immediately find out more about your brand from other social media channels.
Similarly, emails are also a great way to drive small business growth. Whenever you’re sending out emails to your subscribers, make it a point to include your social media handles in it. With this, you are making customers more familiar with your brand. You even stand a better chance of being memorable to your customers if you’re interlinking your social media handles.
This is a very simple way of driving brand awareness and improving social media presence for your brand. Almost all big brands use this strategy consistently for better results.
Branding isn’t only for big brands. It is also important for small businesses. And contrary to popular belief, branding does not require you to spend a lot of money. So, use the strategies mentioned above to boost your small business growth today.
Can you think of any other branding strategies that can drive small business growth? Please share your suggestions in the comments section below.
Jason Carignan, Dave Czerwinski and Brent Reinke wanted to start a hydration revolution.
In a year when enterprising black kids have had the police called on them for everything from mowing lawns to selling water, all in the name of not having permits, the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota flipped the script on a wannabe #PermitPatty by helping a young man start a business.
Jaequan Faulkner has been cooking and selling hot dogs outside his home to raise money for new clothes every summer since 2016. This year, however, some hot dog hater decided to call authorities on the 13-year-old and have his stand shut down.
In a surprising twist, instead of putting an end to his hot dog stand, the Minneapolis Department of Health started making calls to help him get his business certified.
“They worked with a couple groups in the area, Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) I know was involved, Appetite for Change, trying to support Jaequan and what he’s doing,” Logan Ebeling, the Minneapolis health inspector, said to NBC affiliate KARE. “He’s a great kid.”
With the help of the city, and with a permit in hand, Jaequan reopened his stand, which was rechristened “Mr. Faulkner’s Old-Fashioned Hot Dogs.”
Jaequan was trained by a health inspector who showed him how to ensure the temperature of the hot dogs is above 140 degrees. The inspector also brought him a meat thermometer and helped to set up a hand-washing station, according to CNN.
The city’s department of health contacted NEON, a nonprofit that works to empower underserved entrepreneurs in the community. NEON worked with Jaequan to explain everything from how to start a business, to understanding the various types of food permits. They also started a Facebook page for the business.
“We tried to gauge if it was this kid really wanted to have a business or if he was just trying to earn some money,” said Ann Fix, program manager for the Northside Food Business Incubator at NEON. “Because he was so passionate about having a go at this and owning a business, the city offered to help.”
She has also been working with Jaequan to teach him business skills and how to create a plan for the future. They are even setting up his business plans for next summer
“This young man is so full of gratitude,” Fix said. “He is absolutely terrific to work with.”
Two years ago, Jaequan asked his uncle, Jerome Faulkner, if he could use his hot dog roaster. His uncle and aunt told him he could use it and he started making hot dogs and selling them in the front yard.
“It’s the cooking and the people,” he said. “I see someone go by with a frown on their face. I’m there with a smile, then I see a smile on their face. I just made a smile on somebody’s face by selling them a hot dog.”
Jaequan’s food permit lasts for 10 days, after which, he’ll be moving his stand to a series of new spots.
The North Minneapolis police precinct has sponsored him for the next permit, so he can sell hot dogs in front of the station. The Urban League and a community church will sponsor his next permits, which will get him through summer until it is time to go back to school.
During a time of so many haters, it’s cool to see an example of “Minnesota Nice” being out in full force.
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- Social proof. You can highlight the media spots you’ve earned on your website as proof you’re an expert.
- Speaking gigs. Media spots put your brand in the spotlight, which can lead to tons of other opportunities, like speaking gigs.
- Higher quality clients. You can acquire more prestigious clients through media spots. When big brands see you on TV, they may be more likely to reach out and work with you.
- Awareness. Ultimately, media spots make consumers more aware of you. And once they know who you are, they may visit your website and interact with you.
The 3 elements of a pitch To earn media spots, you’ll need to actually pitch the media with a story. This means reaching out to producers, websites, newspapers, radio stations, magazines, podcasts, and even blogs to explain what value you can provide to their audience and what story you’ll tell on air or in writing. While this may sound intimidating, Rizzo shared her proven, 3-step formula for writing effective pitches:
- The hook: The beginning of your pitch should have a hook that grabs the producer’s attention. To write your hook, ask yourself two questions: What makes this story exciting? Why should people care about it?
- The twist: Your pitch should have a unique twist that makes it different from every other story out there. When incorporating a twist in your pitch, ask yourself: How is what you’re saying different from what your audience has heard before?
- The takeaway: Every good pitch has a key takeaway for the audience. This takeaway should be something valuable for your audience. To find your takeaway, ask yourself: What is my audience going to get out of this?
How to get a producer’s attention Once you’ve used Rizzo’s formula to craft a convincing pitch, you’re ready to share your pitch with the media. Rizzo told me that this is where businesses often make their first media mistake. They don’t treat their media contacts like people. And because they don’t take the time to build a relationship with producers, they end up getting ignored. To prevent this mistake, Rizzo explained 4 ways you can build a relationship and get a producer’s attention:
- Make connections with producer’s on social media. Follow the producers or media contacts you’d like to pitch on LinkedIn and Twitter. Then, share their content and comment on it. They’ll appreciate this help and may remember you.
- Pitch the right story. Understand the producer or media contact you’re pitching well enough to know what kind of stories they’re looking for. Tailor your pitch to their needs and audience.
- Write a compelling subject line for your email outreach. If you’re sharing your pitch via email, keep in mind that a producer’s inbox is inundated with hundreds of pitches. To stand out, your needs to be more interesting than the other pitches in the inbox. Include a counter-intuitive fact, a surprising stat, or a timely subject that you’re an expert in.
- Ask friends or contacts to make an introduction for you. If you know someone that successfully landed a media spot, ask them to introduce you to the producer via email. This is a great way to quickly gain their trust.
Make your brand stand out One of the best ways to easily land media spots is by standing out from the rest, Rizzo explained. Your company should be so interesting that the media can’t resist talking about you. You can accomplish this is by sharing a pitch that’s unique and different from everything else people have heard. This could be information that’s contrary to what people currently believe. For example, you could provide research which explains that bacon is actually good for you, Rizzo says. But your business’s brand story also plays a huge role in standing out. People want to get to know and like you. Sharing why and how you started your business is a great way to make this happen. “Don’t underestimate the power of your own personal story. Because so often people bury that. That’s what people want. People want to like you.” Rizzo says. How to tell your brand’s story The best brand stories are the ones your audience can identify with, says Rizzo. You can then connect with your audience through your story. Rizzo says that a great example of this is the fitness company ConBody. ConBody landed media spots through a compelling personal story. As a result of sharing such a great personal story, ConBody earned media spots in The New York Times, BuzzFeed, Men’s Health, and more. Acing your first on-air interview While you may get jitters when you think of being on TV, Rizzo shared two simple ways to ace your first on-air interview — be succinct and know you’re talking points. Plus, lead with your headline, or the most impactful point you have to share. “Give me the headline that if I walk away and only hear that one sentence, I got something out of it,” says Rizzo. How Rizzo uses the media to grow her email list The media attention Rizzo earned helped her build awareness for her business. It did something else as well: It grew her email list. When companies heard about Rizzo through her media spots, they began reaching out to her with speaking opportunities. During these speaking gigs, she used a text-to-subscribe service to allow people to easily join to her email list. She simply shared a number that the audience could text to subscribe. In exchange for subscribing, she gave them a free ebook. To do this yourself, you can use a service such as Textiful or Call Loop. Give your audience an incentive or freebie for subscribing to increase your growth. Beyond speaking gigs, media spots also grew Rizzo’s because they drove people to her website and . People could easily join her email list right from the homepage of her website. Rizzo’s top 2 email marketing tips Rizzo explained that email has played a huge role in transforming her media relationships into sales. “Having my email list is really the only way I’ve been able to sell,” she says. According to Rizzo, her email marketing success is due to two strategies she follows religiously:
- She sends emails regularly. A routine email schedule keeps her in the habit of sending.
Try the email platform Rizzo uses to grow her business As Rizzo said during our interview, email marketing is an essential part of selling her products and services. Want to try the email marketing platform Rizzo uses? Get a 30-day free trial of AWeber and start growing your business with email marketing. Rizzo says, “AWeber helps [me] reach [my] goals because I can target who I want to target. That way I’m able to zero in and talk to that person about that one product.”
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Boca Raton, FL — Entrepreneur Anthony Zolezzi is new CEO of Twinlab Consolidated Holdings, succeeding Naomi Whittel. His website touts “Unconventional Change for Optimistic Leaders,” which could be just what the doctor ordered for the 50-year-old company.
“Anthony is a proven leader and innovator in the natural products industry,” said David Van Andel, chairman of Twinlab. “He has the unique ability to spot opportunities and create value and innovative relationships of products against unmet needs. With his direction and insight, Twinlab will be poised to uniquely deliver on helping people live healthier lives.”
Among Zolezzi’s entrepreneurial ventures in the past 30 years was the founding of Pet Promise natural pet food, which was sold to Nestle Purina. He also created the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurants based on the film “Forrest Gump”.His other outstanding career accomplishments include developing Horizon Organic Dairy’s children’s products, New Chapter children’s supplements and developing and directing the Prince of Wales’ book and documentary “Harmony,” highlighting Prince Charles’ personal health and sustainability initiatives.
“One of the aspects of this role with Twinlab that excites me the most is the breadth of science and quality of products in the Twinlab and Reserveage brands,” Zolezzi said in a statement. “This is a critical time for nutritional supplements as consumers are actively exploring new ways to take charge of their health. I’m highly motivated that we can do that through new innovation and technology within Twinlab’s family of brands.”
Zolezzi also serves as a strategic advisor to Pegasus Capital Advisors, a private, alternative asset management firm that manages upwards of $2 billion in assets. He is a co-founder and former board chairman of The Organic Center for Education and Promotion and former board member of Vitamin Angels.
He took a board seat at Twinlab in May.
If we’re being honest, all of us would probably admit that we’d like to earn a little bit more money in daily life.
There are so many costs to cover these days, and there never seems to be enough money to go around and actually meet these costs.
This is why it is important to understand what is involved in the process of making additional income and supplementing your modern lifestyle.
Well, one thing is clear, if you want to do anything these days, the chances are you’re going to have to jump online. This is no different.
The great thing about 2018 is how much easier it is to make money online now than it has been in the past.
There are so many excellent things you have to keep in mind these days. And these are four of the excellent things you need to consider if you want to make money online today.
1. Discover E-commerce
One of the best ways of ensuring you make some decent money online is to discover the world of e-commerce.
This is where you buy and sell online for a profit, and this can be done by anyone with a computer and internet connection.
Whether you choose to buy goods and sell them on for profit, or you are simply selling unwanted items on eBay, e-commerce is a great way of making extra money.
2. Start Blogging
Another excellent way of using the internet to generate more revenue in your life is by blogging.
Blogging began life as a way of people getting their thoughts down for the world to read, but has now evolved into a business for a lot of people.
In fact, there are reports of people who made upwards of $4,000 per month from their blogging.
This is definitely a wonderful way of making more money, and you should look into what you can do to be a part of this.
Gambling might not seem like the best use of your money, but it is something you need to look into because it can be highly lucrative.
Obviously, you’re going to need to have some idea of what you’re doing, but it is definitely to make money off things like spreadbetting, day trading, and casino gaming.
Of course, you should set yourself a limit, never spend what you can’t afford, and make sure you know what you’re doing before you get started.
Investing is another excellent way of making sure you can make money online, and set yourself up for the future.
These days there are loads of different investment possibilities you need to think about. And the more you can do to improve these, the better you will do long-term.
Be sensible with your investing, and there is no reason you can’t make a lot of money from this.
Some of these ideas might wind up working better than others, and a lot of it depends on your personal circumstances. There are so many things you have to keep in mind that will allow you to improve your personal finances, and focus on being more comfortable.
These are just a few of the wonderful ways you can go about using the internet to make you money as much as possible.
In a profound act of bipartisanship, Representative Jeb Hensarling, Chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, and Representative Maxine Waters, ranking member on the Committee, have joined together on a series of bills that are designed to “help America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs and to protect investors.”
The legislation has been dubbed the the “JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018” (or JOBS Act 3.0). These 32 individual bills have each passed the Committee or House with bipartisan support and are thus ready for the Senate.
Hensarling stated in a Committee release;
“Over the last several months, our Committee has been working hard to put forth a number of capital-formation bills that are designed to breathe new life into markets that are suffocating under aging regulations. Thanks to the efforts of the Ranking Member and Members of the Committee on both sides of the aisle, we have a strong bipartisan package that will play an important role in sustaining long-term economic growth and global competitiveness.”
Hensarling said the Senate has committed to take up this important package.
In an OpEd published in WSJ.com, Hensarling expressed a truism that highlights the importance of helping small business;
“Without a steady stream of small businesses in the pipeline, the U.S. cannot sustain strong long-term economic growth, much less compete with China. Small businesses employ almost half of Americans working in the private economy. They include the Apples, Googles and Amazons of tomorrow. Yet too many startups never make it off the launchpad.”
Hensarling pointed to the fact that US startups hit a 40 year low in 2016. Domestic IPOs have tanked in recent years. Last year, China easily topped the US in number of IPOs a – an issue that “has probably cost the US millions of jobs.
In a separate statement, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) voiced its support for the JOBS Act 3.0. SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan, said the JOBS Act 3.0 comes at a critical time. From clarifying regulations to make sure that startups can connect with investors at “demo days” and networking events to establishing “venture exchanges” and more, Kerrigan urged the Senate to move forward.
“Capital is the fuel that drives entrepreneurship and sustainable economic growth. Small businesses and startups need a continuous flow of capital to launch, compete and grow, and JOBS Act 3.0 addresses an array of regulatory barriers and costs – from launching a firm to exit – that impede opportunity and growth. We applaud the resolve of Chairman Hensarling, the support of Ranking Member Waters, and the collaborative bipartisan work of all Financial Services Committee members for their ongoing efforts to see that entrepreneurs and small businesses have the capital they need to succeed.”
The list of the 32 separate acts of legislation, as provided by the Committee, are listed below.
H.R. 79, Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act – Sponsored by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) and cosponsored by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), this bill defines an “angel investor group” and clarifies a regulation issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to ensure that startups have the opportunity to make a presentation to interested parties without running afoul of the securities laws.
It passed the House on January 10, 2017 with strong bipartisan support, 344-73.
H.R. 435, The Credit Access and Inclusion Act of 2017 – Sponsored by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and cosponsored by Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC), the bill amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to authorize an entity, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to furnish data to consumer reporting agencies regarding an individual’s history of on-time payments with respect to a lease, or contracts for utilities and telecommunications services.
The bill passed the House by voice vote on June 25, 2018.
H.R. 477, Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales & Brokerage Simplification Act of 2017 – Sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and cosponsored by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), the bill alleviates costs to small business owners by simplifying the securities registration system for mergers and acquisition brokers who help transfer the ownership of small, privately held companies. It also disqualifies “bad actors” from utilizing the simplified process and does not allow transactions involving shell companies.
H.R. 477 passed the House with unanimous bipartisan support, 426-0, on December 7, 2017.
H.R. 1585, Fair Investment Opportunities for Professional Experts Act – Sponsored by Reps. David Schweikert (R-AZ) and cosponsored by Reps. French Hill (R-AR), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), H.R. 1585 modernizes the definition of accredited investor so those who do not have a high income or high net worth but do have the education and job experience to evaluate investment risks and merits can participate in the growth of promising companies. This change will provide more Americans with greater investment opportunities and enable the businesses they invest in to create more jobs.
It passed the house by voice vote on November 1, 2017.
H.R. 1645, Fostering Innovation Act – Sponsored by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and cosponsored by Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), the “Fostering Innovation Act of 2017” amends Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) to extend the exemption to comply with the law for certain low-revenue emerging growth companies (EGCs) that would otherwise lose their exempt status at the end of the five-year period that applies under current law.
The bill passed the Financial Services Committee with a bipartisan vote of 48-12 on October 12, 2017.
H.R. 2219, End Banking for Human Traffickers Act of 2018 – Sponsored by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and cosponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), H.R. 2219 amends the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 to add the Treasury Secretary to the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, requires the task force to submit to Congress an analysis of anti-money laundering (AML) efforts of the U.S. government and financial institutions relating to severe forms of trafficking in persons, and requires the Treasury Secretary to designate an office within the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence to coordinate efforts to combat the illicit financing of human trafficking.
It passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, 408-2, on April 10, 2018.
H.R. 2364, Investing in Main Street Act – Sponsored by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and cosponsored by Rep. Stephen Knight (R-CA), the bill amends the Small Business Investment Act by increasing the percentage a financial institution or federal savings association can invest in a small business investment company (SBIC) to 15 percent and require the financial institution or the federal savings association to be approved by their federal regulator prior to investing more than five percent.
H.R. 2364 passed the House by voice vote on July 24, 2017.
H.R. 3555, Exchange Regulatory Improvement Act – Sponsored by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) and cosponsored by Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and David Scott (D-GA), the “Exchange Regulatory Improvement Act,” as amended, requires the SEC to set forth the facts and circumstances it considers in determining what is a “facility” of an exchange.
The bill passed the Financial Services Committee on July 11, 2018 by voice vote.
H.R. 3903, Encouraging Public Offerings Act of 2017 – Sponsored by Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) and cosponsored by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), the “Encouraging Public Offerings Act of 2017” amends the Securities Act of 1933 to expand to all public companies certain provisions of Title I of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which previously applied only to an EGC. Specifically, the legislation allows issuers to submit to the SEC for confidential review, before publicly filing, draft registration statements for Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and for follow-on offerings within one year of an IPO. Additionally, this bill allows all companies to “test-the-waters” before filing an IPO, which means they may meet with qualified institutional buyers and other institutional accredited investors to gauge those investors’ interest in the offering.
It passed the House with unanimous bipartisan support, 419-0, on November 1, 2017.
H.R. 3972, Family Office Technical Correction Act – Sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), H.R. 3972 clarifies that family offices and family clients, as defined in section 275.202(a)(11)(G)-1 of title 17, Code of Federal Regulations, are accredited investors under Regulation D of the SEC.
H.R. 3972 passed the House by voice vote on October 24, 2017.
H.R. 4281, Expanding Access to Capital for Job Creators Act – Sponsored by Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-NV) and cosponsored by Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV), the “Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act” amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to have the SEC’s Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation identify any unique challenges to rural area small businesses when identifying problems that small businesses have with securing access to capital. H.R. 4281 also requires that the annual report made by the SEC’s Small Business Advocate include a summary of any unique issues encountered by rural area small businesses.
The bill passed the Financial Services Committee with unanimous bipartisan support, 60-0, on November 15, 2017.
H.R. 4292, Financial Institution Living Will Improvement Act of 2017 – Sponsored by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and cosponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the bill amends the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” to reform the resolution plan submission “living will” process by requiring bank holding companies to submit to the Federal Reserve Board (Federal Reserve) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) resolution plans every two years. This bill requires the Federal Reserve and FDIC to provide feedback regarding a resolution plan within six months after a bank holding company submission. This bill also requires the Federal Reserve and FDIC to publicly disclose the assessment framework used to review the adequacy of resolution plans.
It passed the House on January 30, 2018 with unanimous support, 414-0.
H.R. 4294, Prevention of Private Information Dissemination Act of 2017 – Sponsored by Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN), the “Prevention of Private Information Dissemination Act of 2017” establishes criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of living will and stress test determinations and other individually identifiable information by federal officials, consistent with existing penalties for other unauthorized disclosure of confidential records by federal officials.
It passed the House on June 26, 2018 with overwhelming bipartisan support, 392-2.
H.R. 4537, International Insurance Standards Act – Sponsored by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) and cosponsored by Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), the bill ensures that international insurance standards and agreements are consistent with our domestic insurance system and provides greater Congressional oversight and transparency on international insurance standard negotiations.
The bill passed the House by voice vote on July 10, 2018.
H.R. 4566, Alleviating Stress Test Burdens to Help Investors Act (Secs. 2 and 3) – Sponsored by Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), the section of this legislation to be included in JOBS Act 3.0 amends the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to exempt nonbank financial institutions not primarily regulated by either a federal banking agency or the Federal Housing Finance Agency from the Dodd-Frank Act’s mandatory company-run stress-testing requirements. Additionally, the bill clarifies that the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission retain their authority to issue regulations to require nonbank financial companies to conduct periodic analysis of the financial condition of such companies under adverse economic conditions.
The full bill previously passed the House on March 20, 2018 with a strong bipartisan vote of 395-19.
H.R. 4768, National Strategy for Combating the Financing of Transnational Criminal Organizations Act – Sponsored by Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN) and cosponsored by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), H.R. 4768 requires the President, through the Secretary of the Treasury, to develop a national strategy to combat the financial networks of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) not later than one year after the enactment of this Act and every two years thereafter. In particular, the strategy will assess the most significant TCO threats and the individuals, entities, and networks that provide financial support or facilitation to those TCOs. It also reviews current goals, priorities, and actions against TCOs’ financial support networks and will recommend new ways to deter and prosecute those who financially enable TCOs.
H.R. 4768 passed the House by voice vote on March 6, 2018.
H.R. 5288, Common Sense Credit Union Capital Relief Act – Sponsored by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) and cosponsored by Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), the bill delays the effective date of the rule used by the National Credit Union Administration titled “Risk-Based Capital” from 2019 to 2021.
H.R. 5749, Options Markets Stability Act – Sponsored by Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and cosponsored by Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), the legislation requires the prudential regulators to implement a risk-adjusted approach to value centrally-cleared exchange-listed derivatives as it relates to capital rules to better and more accurately reflect exposure and to promote market-making activity.
On July 10, 2018, the bill passed the House with a unanimous vote of 385-0.
H.R. 5783, Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act of 2018 – Sponsored by Rep. French Hill (R-AR) and cosponsored by Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), the “Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act of 2018” provides a safe harbor for financial institutions that maintain a customer account at the request of a Federal, State, tribal or local law enforcement agency.
The bill passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, 379-4, on June 25, 2018.
H.R. 5877, Main Street Growth Act – Sponsored by Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), the “Main Street Growth Act” amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to allow for the registration of venture exchanges with the SEC to provide a venue that is tailored to the needs of small and emerging companies and offers qualifying companies one venue in which their securities can trade.
It passed the House by voice vote on July 10, 2018.
H.R. 5953, Building Up Independent Lives and Dreams (BUILD) Act – Sponsored by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), H.R. 5953 allows certain non-profits that are conducting charitable mortgage loan transactions to use either the truth in lending (TIL), good faith estimate (GFE), and HUD-1 forms, or those required under the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule.
H.R. 5953 passed the House by voice vote on July 10, 2018.
H.R. 5970, Modernizing Disclosures for Investors Act – Sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), the “Modernizing Disclosures for Investors Act” requires the SEC to provide a report to Congress with a cost-benefit analysis of EGCs’ use of SEC Form 10-Q, including the costs and benefits to investors and other market participants of the current requirements for reporting onForm 10-Q, as well as the expected impact of the use of alternative formats of quarterly reporting for EGCs. The bill also directs the SEC to report to Congress with recommendations for decreasing costs, increasing transparency, and increasing efficiency of quarterly financial reporting by EGCs.
The House passed H.R. 5970 by voice vote on July 10, 2018.
H.R. 6069, Fight Illicit Networks and Detect (FIND) Trafficking Act – Sponsored by Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA) and cosponsored by Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA), the “FIND Trafficking Act” requires the Comptroller General of the United States to carry out a study on how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to buy, sell, or facilitate the financing of goods or services associated with sex trafficking or drug trafficking, and for other purposes.
The bill passed the House on June 25, 2018 by voice vote.
H.R. 6139, Improving Investment Research for Small and Emerging Issuers Act – Sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and cosponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the bill requires the SEC to carry out a study to evaluate the issues affecting the provision of and reliance upon investment research into small issuers and pre-IPO companies, including EGCs and other small issuers.
It passed the House by voice vote on July 10, 2018.
H.R. 6177, Developing and Empowering our Aspiring Leaders (DEAL) Act – Sponsored by Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), the “DEAL Act” requires the SEC to revise the definition of a qualifying investment to include equity securities acquired in a secondary transaction.
The bill passed the Financial Services Committee on July 11, 2018 on voice vote.
H.R. 6319, Expanding Investment in Small Businesses Act – Sponsored by Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), the “Expanding Investment in Small Businesses Act” requires the SEC to study whether the current diversified fund limit threshold for mutual funds constrains their ability to take meaningful positions in small-cap companies.
The Financial Services Committee passed the bill by voice vote on July 11, 2018.
H.R. 6320, Promoting Transparent Standards for Corporate Insiders Act – Sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the “Promoting Transparent Standards for Corporate Insiders Act” requires the SEC to consider certain types of amendments to Rule 10b5-1 to ensure that corporate insiders are not able to indirectly engage in illegal insider trading through changes to their trading plans.
The bill passed the Financial Services Committee on July 11, 2018 by voice vote.
H.R. 6321, Investment Adviser Regulatory Flexibility Improvement Act – Sponsored by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) and cosponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), the “Investment Adviser Regulatory Flexibility Improvement Act” directs the SEC to consider alternative methods for businesses or organizations to qualify as a “small business” or “small organization” for the purposes of assessing the regulatory impact on investment advisers.
H.R. 6321 passed the Financial Services Committee by voice vote on July 11, 2018.
H.R. 6322, Enhancing Multi-Class Share Disclosures Act — Sponsored by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), the “Enhancing Multi-Class Share Disclosures Act” requires issuers with a multi-class share structure to make certain disclosures in any proxy or consent solicitation material that provide enhanced transparency regarding certain shareholders’ voting power.
It passed the Financial Services Committee by voice vote on July 11, 2018.
H.R. 6323, National Senior Investor Initiative Act of 2018 – Sponsored by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and cosponsored by Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), the “National Senior Investor Initiative Act of 2018” or the “Senior Security Act of 2018” creates an interdivisional task force at the SEC, to examine and identify challenges facing senior investors and requires the Government Accountability Office to study the economic costs of the exploitation of senior citizens.
The Financial Services Committee passed the bill by voice vote on July 11, 2018.
H.R. 6324, Middle Market IPO Underwriting Cost Act – Sponsored by Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), the “Middle Market IPO Underwriting Cost Act” requires the SEC, in consultation with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, to study the direct and indirect costs associated with small and medium-sized companies to undertake initial public offerings.
The bill passed the Financial Services Committee on July 11, 2018 by voice vote.
H.R. 6380, Crowdfunding Amendments Act – Sponsored by Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Maxine Waters (D-CA), the “Crowdfunding Amendments Act” allows crowdfunding investors to pool their money together into a fund that is advised by a registered investment advisor.
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