Casselberry TESTIMONY for the Texas Coalition for Capital
Texas House Committee on Economic and Small Business Development
April 3, 2013
Mr. Chairman and members, I’m here today representing the Texas Coalition for Capital, a statewide non-profit organization that supports long-term access to capital for our entrepreneurs and small businesses.
We all know Texas leads the country in many economic indicators – job creation, our low tax burden, affordable cost of living, and entrepreneurial culture, among others.
One area we lag, however, is in small business venture investment.
In fact Texas was 4th in the amount of venture investment in 2012. And it was quite a distant fourth.
We think it’s important Texas maintain a dynamic investment ecosystem that includes public and private sources of capital, and other incentives.
There are a few reasons it’s important we do so. Our neighboring states are getting more aggressive; let’s maintain the competitive advantage we enjoy today.
We need Texas capital in enough abundance that will keep these our promising small businesses and their jobs here at home. Capital and companies like to stay close to each other, which means those jobs stay in Texas.
We also think that capital is a key piece of our infrastructure to keep Texas economically competitive over the long-term. Like water and roads, access to capital is important to our long-term economic competitiveness.
I would also note the value of corporate capital as part of the investment ecosystem; the larger companies like our 52 Fortune 500 companies HQ’s here recognize investment in infrastructure – including capital for our small businesses — when they see it.
They have money to invest and to spend, and they are diversified; likewise, we need capital that puts money into companies across industry sectors.
Texas likes to lead when we can, but we still trail the coasts in investment capital by a significant margin. Entrepreneurs will tell you the two most important factors to start and grow a business are 1) access to capital, and 2) a skilled workforce.
This legislation will help us make up ground in one of those areas.