Monday letters: Crowdfunding provides a boost to business

SHARE Monday letters: Crowdfunding provides a boost to business
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The General Assembly passed a bill that would let businesses take investments through crowdfunding. File photo by Sara Burnett, AP.

Lost in the echoes of another dysfunctional legislative session is a surprising bright spot for Illinois’ entrepreneurs. On May 20, the General Assembly ushered in the nation’s most competitive investment crowdfunding regulations on a bipartisan basis.Not only is Illinois joining the crowdfunding revolution, pending the governor’s signature, the state is actually poised to lead it.

Investment crowdfunding allows small investors to pool their dollars together to finance local businesses through online portals, and receive investment returns when the venture succeeds. Donation crowdfunding is already legal across the U.S. on platforms like Kickstarter, where donors contribute a few bucks to a worthy cause. Illinois’ investment crowdfunding law will allow those donors to transform into investors and gain a stake in local growth.

This will mean big things as technology increasingly connects consumers to producers and investors to entrepreneurs. If you want to crowdfund your startup, Illinois is going to be the place to do it. Here are the rules:Companies with audited financials can raise up to $4 million per year; those with unaudited financials up to $1 million per year.Accredited investors can invest as much as they want in each offering, while unaccredited investors can invest up to $5,000 per offering.

Economist John Berlau paraphrased Abraham Lincoln in describing investment crowdfunding as “finance of the people, by the people and for the people.”We could certainly use a lot more of that here in the Land of Lincoln.

Michael Lucci, Director of Jobs and Growth

Illinois Policy Institute

SEND LETTERS TO:letters@suntimes.com (Please include the name of your neighborhood or town, and a phone number for verification purposes.)

Stop holding up medical marijuana

How typical of Illinois. Politicians pass a law allowing the sale of medical marijuana, but nearly 17 months later, nothing has happened. Prospective growers and sellers took the state’s word.Millions are tied up waiting for the day when they can actually start making a profit as our politicians appeased the voters, but now are delayed by paperwork and zoning concerns.

They don’t want dispensaries near hot dog stands or parks. These will not be Amsterdam like coffee shops, where people hang out and smoke all day. These will be medical dispensaries. You can’t get in the door without being 21 and having a prescription. Pot is being sold on every corner of Chicago, and some aldermen are worried that granny and her glaucoma are going to leave the store and go to a park and smoke it in front of children? Or sell it to them?

The aldermen are listening to a couple of grumbling voices and making the rest of the area suffer. Nothing is ever done with common sense. It’s all fear of losing a precious political career. If we had a nickel for every time an Illinois politician screwed something up, we wouldn’t be in the financial crisis we are in today.

Scot Sinclair,Gurnee

No excuse for animal crueltyIt seems that cats and especially dogs are never safe from abuse and mistreatment. In recent weeks there has been dognapping, harm done to canines at animal daycare and gross cases of neglect and abandonment at Chicago Animal Care and Control. These are supposed to be the people and organizations that love dogs, cats and other animals. On a daily basis companion animals are victims of hoarders, gangs, and violentcriminals who enjoy traumatizing and killing animals. These inhumane culprits should be in prison for their violent and irreverent monstrosities.Brien Comerford,Glenview

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