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Investment Center Established in Mid-Michigan to Help Rebuild State Economy

FEB. 1, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: EB-5 MRC CEO Kenneth Kousky, 989.714.1172 or kwkousky@svsu.edu This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

(SAGINAW, Mich.) - The local economy could get a big boost from a development initiative in mid-Michigan that will offer a critical new source of investment capital opportunities. EB-5 Michigan Regional Center, LLC, based in Saginaw, will work to bring foreign investment funding to nine mid-Michigan counties beginning later this year.

"We're thrilled to announce that EB-5 MRC, LLC has been designated an EB-5 Regional Center by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, (USCIS), U.S. Department of Homeland Security," said CEO Kenneth Kousky. "As a Regional Center, we're authorized to use the EB-5 Global Investment Program to connect foreign investment capital with qualified business investments in the area. Our initial efforts will be focused on partnering with the existing investment community. We'll be soliciting funding for these projects in the People's Republic of China."

The counties that could see economic gains from the new EB-5 center are Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Huron, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac and Tuscola. EB-5 MRC Chairman James Lynch noted the organization is eager to expand the authorized area. "We're very open to working with other counties," Lynch said. "Our vision for the Regional Center is to leverage local investment dollars from across the state."

The Regional Centers are private or public entities that have received U.S. federal government approval to participate in the Program. They enable the amassing and pooling of capital for targeted investment in designated regions in the United States. For the investor, these Regional Centers are attractive because they allow for a less restrictive job creation requirement. Instead of just having to prove direct job creation, the investor may also include indirect job creation using standardized economic and statistic forecasting tools.

"There are 70-plus Regional Centers in the U.S.," said Kousky, adding that the EB-5 MRC is one of only two in Michigan. "Nationally, Regional Centers have raised more than $1 billion in capital investment, creating more than 2,000 jobs in the process. Our area has a proud history as a great place to live, work and do business, and it's our goal to bring some of that capital and job creation here. Our current area of focus - alternative energy - is certainly one of great interest to potential investors."

Kousky detailed a potential Chinese investor. "We have met with several qualified investors," he said, "and they have told us they're looking for low-risk investments; that they're interested in extending their business interests in the U.S.; and that they're seeking to complete the immigration process. These are all things with which we can assist them through the EB-5 Program."

“There are several additional criteria a project must meet to be eligible for the Program,” Kousky said. “The project must be either a new company or an existing company that has experienced a 40 percent drop in employment from the previous fiscal year; the company must be located in the authorized geographic area that includes those nine counties but excludes municipalities with populations of 20,000 or greater; and the project must demonstrate and verify the economic impact on the regional economy - 10 direct, indirect or induced jobs per $500,000 invested for five years.”

"We're going to be working closely with other local economic developers - that's essential," Kousky said. "There's plenty of competition out there for investment dollars, and we'll be calling on our local EDCs, Chambers of Commerce, business authorities and investor groups to help us sell mid-Michigan. We know that it's fertile ground to grow successful businesses, but we need to prove it, and we will."

EB-5 MRC's management team boasts five standouts in the investment world, including Kenneth Kousky, the Dow Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Saginaw Valley State University, an experienced entrepreneur who successfully started three companies and played an instrumental role in turnarounds at two others; James Lynch, a veteran of new product development and early stage venture capital for nearly 20 years with a fundamental understanding of the key elements needed to make successful investments in new enterprises; Hong Huang, an expert in Chinese investment in the U.S. and key leader for two substantial PRC-based companies; Robert Hood, a director and past president of Willingham & Cote whose legal expertise runs an impressive gamut across corporations, partnerships, limited liability partnerships,  joint ventures, limited liability companies, professional corporations and professional limited liability companies; and James Plonka, retired Vice President of Venture Capital from The Dow Chemical Company and current President and CEO of Michigan Molecular Institute. Plonka is also a partner at Griffon Financial Services LLC, a provider of services to the Venture Capital Industry and Private Equity Investors.

For more information about EB-5 MRC, visit the group's website at www.eb5michigan.com.