Most small businesses invest in predictable industries that are certain provide a tangible return on investment (ROI) in the form of increased sales or resource savings; whether businesses choose to invest in marketing (35%), sales (28%), or technology (22%), it’s easy to see why these are the top three sectors for investing.
But the developing company McDowell Enterprises, which is behind Arizona’s new Green Valley Hospital, is trying out a new type of ROI for foreign investors: Green Cards.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, Green Valley Hospital began participating in the federal EB-5 immigration program after the recession caused a strain on the hospital’s finances. Under the program, foreign investors can apply for Green Cards for themselves and their immediate family if (1) they invest at least $500,000 into a U.S. project, and (2) that project creates at least 10 permanent jobs in the country.
Congress created the EB-5 program back in 1990, in order to stimulate job growth, but as the Daily Star notes, the program didn’t gain popularity until the recession hit.
For the second year in a row, 10,000 visa applications (the maximum amount permitted) have been filed under the program.
Green Valley Hospital, which is expected to open on June 1 this year, benefited quite a bit from this program; of the $79 million funds needed to build the hospital, $56 million was brought in through foreign investors under the EB-5 program.
Although Green Valley Hospital is intended to serve a more rural community of Arizona, it’s easy to see why investors jumped at the chance to invest in this state, which prides itself on promoting a “pro-business climate,” as a recent Forbesarticle stated. Back in 2011, the Arizona Competitiveness Package lowered taxes for businesses, eased strict regulations, and created funding programs to stimulate job growth in the technology sector.
Both these state-funded programs and the federal EB-5 immigration program have allowed the Green Valley community to build up a medical facility for residents, who currently have to drive about 40 minutes to get to the nearest facility in Tucson.