Forbes ranks Portland 'Best Places for Business and Careers' in the country

The USA Experts will be holding their next seminar series in November. Kicking off on 8th November in Singapore and 10th November in Jakarta, sponsors EB-5 Group are proud to have a project in Portland and have Forbes ranked Portland as one of the "Best Places for Business and Careers" in the USA.

Look around. Are you in Portland? Are you in the bathroom or at a meeting or on a conference call, reading this article from a computer or device while technically "at work"? If so, you could be part of the reason for the latest superlative bestowed upon Stumptown.

On Tuesday, Forbes released their list of "The Best Places for Business and Careers 2017" and at the top of that list? Duh. Portland.

According to Forbes, what's bad for traffic is actually great for the city.

"The influx of educated young adults has been a boon to the $157 billion economy, with household incomes up 4 percent annually since 2011 and unemployment falling below 4 percent from a peak of 11.3 percent in 2009," Forbes writes. "Portland now has the ninth-highest concentration of highly educated millennials based on data from Experian."

But it isn't just waves of brilliant millennials that Forbes is basing their ranking on. The magazine cited "companies with a large local presence in the Portland metro like Nike, Intel, Daimler and Boeing," and the burgeoning tech and startup community, which they call "Silicon Forest," a name I think we can all agree hasn't really caught on.

One thing some Portlanders might take issue with, even though it's 100 percent true? "Companies and workers in Portland benefit from dramatically more affordable conditions than in the Bay Area," according to Forbes.

The magazine said they created their list by comparing "the business climates of the 200 largest metro areas by population in the U.S."

They rated those metro areas "on 14 metrics related to job growth, costs (business and living), income growth, quality of life and the education of the labor force."

One of the best things about this list? Seattle, a city with which we should have a much more robust rivalry, only made it to third on this list. You hear that Amazon?

-- Lizzy Acker

503-221-8052 @lizzzyacker



newly signed bill that extends the EB-5 regional center program through December 8, 2017. President Donald J. Trump Signs H.R. 601 into Law.

On Friday, September 8, 2017, the President signed into law:

H.R. 601, the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017," which amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to direct that it is U.S. policy to promote basic education through particular programs, and establishes the position of Senior Coordinator of United States International Basic Education within the U.S. Agency for International Development.  Division B of the bill, Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements, 2017, provides $15.25 billion in emergency funding for the Departments of Homeland Security and Housing and Urban Development and the Small Business Administration to support disaster response and assistance.  Division C of the bill temporarily suspends the statutory debt limit through December 8, 2017.  Division D of the bill includes a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that provides fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations through Friday, December 8, 2017, for the continuing projects and activities of the Federal Government.


Federal Immigration: EB-5 and the RAISE Act

On August 1, 2017, Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and David Perdue (R-Georgia) introduced a bill to significantly cut legal immigration. The bill is called the RAISE Act and it stands for Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act. The  bill has President Trump’s support.

The bill does not have the support of all the Republicans and so is not likely to move forward. Influential republicans like Senator Lindsey Graham and Ron Johnson oppose the RAISE Act.

However, the EB-5 community understandably has questions about how this bill would treat EB-5. The below is a quick summary including general and specific EB-5 related highlights:

  • The RAISE Act significantly reduces legal immigration.

  • All employment based categories, including EB-5, are eliminated and replaced with a points system.

  • Applicants need 30 points or higher to immigrate to the US.

  • Investors get 6 points if they invest $1.35 million in a US new commercial enterprise.

  • Investors get 12 points if they invest $1.8 million in a US new commercial enterprise.

  • In both cases, $1.35 million or $1.8 million, investors must maintain the investment for at least 3 years.

  • In both cases, $1.35 million or $1.8 million, investors must *actively manage the commercial enterprise as their primary occupation*.

  • Eliminates Diversity Visas, currently allocated 55,000 visas per year.

The points system is used in other countries, ex: Canada, UK, and Australia.

A major barrier presented in the RAISE Act relating to EB-5 investors is the “active management” aspect. One of the key factors contributing to the EB-5 program’s growth as a significant source of development capital is the minimal management requirement. Investors cannot be entirely passive, but they are not required to have an active management role. Without question, an active management requirement would significantly curtail the EB-5 program’s use and usefulness by limiting the program to entrepreneurs as opposed to including investors.

Again, the bill is not likely to move forward, although Republicans favor the points system generally. The Federalist, a conservative publication, states that if the “RAISE Act were made law as it stands now, the consequences would be dire as advanced companies faced new barriers in hiring workers, making it easier for our competitors in China, India, and Europe to beat us in trade. … Total immigration would be reduced, but illegal immigration would probably rise. Overall, the American economy would suffer, even its blue-collar workers.”

In the meantime, there is a critical need for long-term EB-5 program reauthorization and visa capacity to support demand and reduce backlog.

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