The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has announced that it has contracted with a company called CMB to handle investment opportunities by foreign investors for Iowa projects. A government program known as EB-5 allows foreign investors to invest in an American project and immigrate to the U.S. as long as certain criteria are met. This program was initially used in Iowa for dairy operations, but is now being expanded to construction, energy, and infrastructure projects.
CMB got its start in the redevelopment of closed military bases, hence where “CMB” comes from. CMB handles all of the investor-side issues: screening the investors, tracking and verifying investor funds, and preparing all of the paperwork to conform to the EB-5 program. CMB also will review the Iowa project to make sure that it is viable and that it is a project suitable for the EB-5 program.
A foreign investor must invest at least $1,000,000 ($500,000 in areas of high unemployment or rural areas) and the project must create or save 10 jobs for the project to qualify. This program will not fund 100% of a project, so additional capital is required, making this available really only for multi-million dollar projects.
During an informational meeting yesterday, CMB urged anyone interested in this program with a suitable Iowa project to contact them early in the process, ideally before or during site selection, as the site location could make or break whether the project qualifies. If you have a project you think would benefit from this program, contact me for more information.