Skvarla says he wants to push for crowd funding legislation

Posted January 5, 2015

Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources John Skvarla speaks during a Dec. 2, 2014, news conference at which Gov. Pat McCrory announced Skvarla would succeed Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker, who is stepping down to take a private-sector job.

— North Carolina's new commerce secretary wants to allow small investors to help fund in-state entrepreneurs through crowd-funding.

"We have hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs in this state, and crowd-funding is a mechanism by which small entrepreneurs can go raise $1 million to $2 million easily without all of the bureaucratic morass of traditional securities laws," Commerce Secretary John Skvarla said shortly after attending an economic forecast forum put on Monday by the North Carolina Chamber and North Carolina Bankers Association. 

Such systems, he said, typically work by allowing smaller investors to put $1,000 a piece into a project without the formalities normally required with stock transactions.

A similar bill was much debated but ultimately failed to pass the legislature during the 2014 General Assembly. Despite backing in both the House and the Senate, it became tangled in an end-of-session tit-for-tat between Republican leaders in either chamber.

Rep. Tom Murry, R-Wake, the bill's primary proponent, did not win reelection in November. 

Skvarla said crowd-funding would allow small investors to help from home-grown ventures much more quickly. The biggest problems for most entrepreneurs, he said, is access to the capital needed either to start up or begin work on a new project in earnest. 

"This crowd-funding is something we need to have as a standalone bill to get signed early in the session. Let's unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of everybody who is out there wanting to start everything from a sporting goods company to a biotech company," Skvarla said. 

Lawmakers return to work Jan. 14 for one day and then begin the bulk of their legislative session two weeks later.


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  • Terry Lightfoot Jan 6, 2015
    user avatar

    crowd funding's proven time and again..but why do we need a regulation in NC? Is there something in the process that would prevent any NC citizen from using and receiving $$ from these sources?
    I'm not surprized that our 'Assembly' let any bill related to this fail. They were too busy passing abortion restrictions and voter suppression laws to bother with small business.

  • Jan 6, 2015

    Who in their right mind would go along with this. They'll take your money - no receipt- and do with it as they want. No oversight for mismanagement; and we all know how that works!

  • Barbara Sossomon Jan 6, 2015
    user avatar

    Bills should have ONE topic and ONLY ONE!! Adding Pork to a bill does not help anyone. Clean bills have ONE topic.

  • Tammy Rush Jan 6, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    The Oculus Rift is a perfect example. It was crowd-funded, then sold to Facebook for $2B in cash and stock.

  • iopsyc Jan 6, 2015

    View quoted thread

    The bill has been around in various forms for quite a while, most recently in July of 2014.
    WRAL has also covered it, to some extent, on a couple of ocassionans.

    Here's the latest version of the bill:

  • flyfish42 Jan 6, 2015

    Crowd-funding used in this way is the embodiment of "caveat emptor" and is ripe for misuse and for ripping people off, as there are no controls or checks whatsoever. Skvarla should have better sense.

  • baldchip Jan 6, 2015

    I would like to know more about this option before passing judgment.

    I wonder why we've never heard about this before.

  • iopsyc Jan 6, 2015

    I would prefer that they stop calling it "crowd funding", and start calling it "selling of unregistered securities"

  • archmaker Jan 5, 2015

    Sounds like we can all get together and purchase our own lawmakers…