LEDC aims for global outreach

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, June 2, 2015

SOUTH POINT — The Lawrence Economic Development Corporation has received official certification to become an Employment Based-5 Regional Center for the counties of Lawrence, Scioto, Jackson and Gallia.

EB-5 was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. EB-5 foreign direct investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise, create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs within two years, and invest in at least $500,000.00 in capital investments in the rural counties of Lawrence, Scioto, Jackson and Gallia. This specific regional center is focused on commercial for profit companies specializing in distribution, warehousing and logistics.

“As LEDC initiates industrial recruitment efforts on a global scale, the EB-5 Visa Program will be a powerful tool,” said Bill Dingus, executive director of the LEDC. “Statistics show a keen interest in the Asian communities for investing in U.S. communities that have an established EB-5 program where a green card/visa will be available to entities who create numerous jobs and make sizable investments in the U.S. We want those jobs and investments in our region and will go the extra mile to make it happen.”

Standard designations have a minimum of $1 million in capital investment. For target employment areas, that minimum is $500,000. EB-5 certification in Lawrence, Scioto, Jackson or Gallia allow each company that invests $500,000 in capital to gain an extra visa. The program is usually tied to a university or college to allow the investor’s child to gain access to an American education.

“This designation will give our targeted employment area added incentive to attract foreign direct investments and increase our global outreach,” said Viviane Vallance, EB-5 manager.

Targeted employment area, or TEA, is defined by law as “a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average.”

For more information regarding the EB-5 program, contact Dingus or Vallance at 740-377-4550.