WASHINGTON, April 5 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday signed a bill he called a "potential game-changer" for start-ups and small businesses.
Obama signed into law the Jump-start Our Business Start-ups Act, which passed with bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. The act will make it easier for business owners to take their companies public and will remove regulatory barriers to investment in start-ups and small businesses, Obama said.
Calling the JOBS Act "one useful and important step" in the country's economic recovery, Obama said business owners will have an easier time taking their companies public under the bill.
"And that's a big deal because going public is a major step towards expanding and hiring more workers," Obama said. "It's a big deal for investors as well, because public companies operate with greater oversight and greater transparency."
And for start-ups and small businesses, "this bill is a potential game changer," Obama said. "Right now, you can only turn to a limited group of investors, including banks and wealthy individuals, to get funding. … Because of this bill, start-ups and small business will now have access to a big new pool of potential investors, namely the American people."
The JOBS Act allows Americans to "go online and invest in entrepreneurs that they believe in," Obama said.
Obama said the bill represents "exactly the kind of bipartisan action we should be taking in Washington to help our economy."
"I've always said that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not the government," Obama said. "Our job is to help our companies grow and hire."
House Minority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., a frequent critic of the president, helped sponsor the JOBS Act and attended the signing ceremony.
During Thursday's media briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney said concerns raised by the SEC about conflict-of-interest elements in the JOBS Act were addressed because it "leaves in place the core post-dot-com bust conflict of interests protections … it leaves them untouched."
"That means investment banks must keep their banking and research departments separate," Carney said. "Research analysts cannot be dependent for their compensation on investment banking revenue; research analysts cannot do pitches and go on client road shows ahead of an IPO."