Today the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation released an independent interim report on making U.S. markets more competitive. The report also looked at the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley on small firms. Following is reaction from Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), incoming Chair of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship:

“The root of keeping America competitive is helping our nation’s small businesses grow. This report illustrates some changes to Sarbanes-Oxley that are needed to help small firms become more competitive and increase their contributions to the economy. I believe we can maintain shareholder protections and reduce burdensome regulations for small businesses. Next year, the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship will take a very serious look at this issue so we can make sure the system works for small firms. We need to foster the kind of environment that will increase America’s competitive edge, not create unnecessary red tape and bureaucratic barriers.”

Earlier this year, Senator Kerry introduced the Small Business Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Assistance Act (S. 3919) to authorize the Small Business Administration (SBA) to award grants to small public companies and small businesses to help lessen the burden of the cost to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley. Kerry’s bill also creates a task force, to be assembled by the SBA Chief Counsel for Advocacy, which would be comprised of representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other appropriate bank regulatory agencies and report semi-annually on how to assist small public companies in complying with Sarbanes-Oxley.

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