Program Eases Regulatory Burdens on New Businesses

June 16, 1999

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that his Securities Division has commenced the Mid-Atlantic Regional Review Program ("MARR"), a new program aimed at helping Maryland's small businesses raise capital. Maryland joins Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia in initiating MARR, which is open to any company preparing a small equity or debt offering of its securities which is subject to registration at the state level. Companies eligible to use the SCOR (Small Corporate Offering Registration) program, or SEC Regulation A at the federal level, are eligible for MARR.

"This program will enable small business to get off the ground easier, and hopefully, without having to spend precious time and resources on the initial application process," said Attorney General Curran. "This is a pro-business initiative that cuts through the red tape, saves money, and time."

Under MARR, a small business that wants to offer securities for sale in more than one state no longer has to pay for the costly and timely process of negotiating its registration application through multiple state regulators. Instead, MARR will coordinate the review processes in the Mid-Atlantic states where the business wants to go public.

The company simply files its registration application in each state where capital is being raised, then waits for Maryland, as the administrator state, to assign a "lead" state and a "lead" examiner. That person will collect and coordinate the comments from all the states' examiners and within a specified period of time, will deliver a unified comment letter to the issuer. Generally, the issuer then resolves all issues directly with the lead examiner.

"This simplifies the process without compromising the protections afforded by the regulations," Curran said. "It's a win-win proposition for small business and investors."

In addition, the participating states have in large measure conformed the standards applied in reviewing offerings under the program. A package of information about, and instructions for, the MARR Program is available to the public free of charge. Contact the Maryland Securities Division, 200 Saint Paul Place, 20th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, 410-576-7031, or at .

MARR is the fourth regional review program established by the states for small offerings. The others include the New England region (6 states), the Mid-Western region (10 states), and the Western region (11 states). In addition, since 1997, Maryland has been one of more than 40 states participants in the nationwide Coordinated Equity Review ("CER") Program for larger offerings that are also registered with the SEC.

For Further Information Contact:
Frank Mann
Special Assistant to the Attorney General
(410) 576-6357