T hank you for your interest in the EB-5 Investment Coalition. In towns and cities across America, community leaders like myself are always looking for new ways to fuel job creation, enhance infrastructure, support local businesses and leave our cities and states better off than when we found them. That’s why I am such a strong supporter of the EB-5 Regional Center Program, a critical policy tool that has successfully promoted job creation and economic growth in communities across the country for almost 25 years.
Throughout Florida, EB-5 funds have helped us break ground on new development projects ranging from senior living centers and educational facilities to workforce housing developments. These projects represent more than just brick and mortar buildings: they’ve meant jobs and they’ve meant new growth opportunities for South Florida and the tri-county area. Miami, through its City owned Center, is structured to be a resource for all in the community regardless of economic status. This Center plans to facilitate infrastructure and development projects.
Our community is not alone; in conversations with my fellow mayors in other communities from other parts the country, I’ve heard amazing stories about the power of EB-5 to diversify rural economies, fund vital infrastructure projects and boost an incredibly diverse range of industries from manufacturing and health care to renewable energy and agriculture.
EB-5 investments are putting Americans to work in communities large and small, helping businesses and entrepreneurs access the capital they need to not only bring their good ideas to life, but to create good jobs for their neighbors and leave lasting legacies in the communities they love. The program has generated at least 85,000 American jobs since its creation and was a particularly key source of capital during the economic downturn, helping American businesses and public private partnerships weather the storm when other sources of financing dried up – in fact, over half of the jobs created by the program have occurred in the last five years.
“In our 21st century global economy, job-creating policies that help businesses invest in their communities are something we all can, and must, get behind.”
For nearly a quarter of a century, the EB-5 Regional Center program – which costs taxpayers nothing and pays for itself through fees – received almost unanimous support from Republicans and Democrats alike. Recently, some issues regarding the integrity of the program have been raised. When the City of Miami created our business plan for our tri-county area, we wrote it with some of the very same issues and an eye to the concerns about the need to improve that are being responsibly addressed by Congress. Our Coalition fully embraces and recognizes the need for targeted reforms to strengthen the EB-5 program and make it even more effective, accountable and secure. That’s why we are advocating for a package of common-sense reforms that would make important changes in two core areas: first, by promoting more robust standards for ensuring security, transparency and compliance; and second, by strengthening and updating the EB-5 program to better reflect today’s global economy. Those few program participants that have blemished the fine work of those playing by the rules should be precluded from participating in the program. We are committed to working with Congress and other key stakeholders to advance robust, thoughtful reforms that ensure the strongest possible EB-5 program.
Those of us at the EB-5IC are keenly aware that there is more work to be done in strengthening America’s economic foundation and laying the groundwork for long-term growth and prosperity. This is the driving force behind our work to bring policymakers, industry leaders and business owners together to share their stories and protect this important program.
We’ve seen the impact of EB-5 firsthand, and chances are you have too – through the jobs it has created and the economic development projects it has made possible in your hometowns. So we hope you will join us in calling on Washington to reauthorize this critical investment program before it expires on September 30th. In our 21st century global economy, job-creating policies that help businesses invest in their communities are something we all can, and must, get behind.
Mayor Tomás P. Regalado
EB-5IC Honorary Chair