Elaine Marshall, the North Carolina Secretary of State who heads financial securities efforts, heartily endorsed crowdfunding legislation passed by the General Assembly this week.

After a final vote on Tuesday, the bill known as Providing Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs and Small Business was sent to Gov. Pat McCrory who has long called for passage of such a bill. (See links with this post to document the bill’s path to passage over the past two weeks.)

The PACES Act could provide new capital for startups and investment opportunities for people who don’t meet strict personal wealth criteria for typical investments.

“All over our State, many new and small businesses find it difficult to access financial capital to start their venture, or to fund expanding their operations,” Secretary Marshall said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.

“A new form of capital formation has emerged in the marketplace in recent years—crowdfunding—that allows companies to openly solicit and sell to Main Street investors, through the internet and elsewhere, and this legislation will permit small investors to invest this way in North Carolina.”

Marshall said the bill has what her office called a “right mix” of protections for investors as well as limits.

First authorized by Congress in 2012 and supported by recent SEC guidelines, crowdfunding is emerging as a growing means of providing capital for startups. More than 30 other states have passed crowdfunding bills.

Previous bills had failed to get out of the General Assembly despite bipartisan support.

“[I]n an era where access to capital is extremely challenging, crowdfunding has the potential to be an innovative new way to infuse much needed financial capital into these sectors,” Marshall said.

Marshall said her office worked closely with legislators in creating the bill.

Assuming McCrory signs it, her office will “do rulemaking for the new law,” Marshall’s office said. .