April 06, 2020 2 min read
Australia could immediately inject tens of millions of dollars into regional economies, preventing the collapse of hundreds of businesses including emerging companies and startups by reforming the criteria for the 188B Investment Visa.
Executive Chairman of Atlas Advisors Australia, Guy Hedley said there were many Australian companies in regional areas pioneering world class innovations in areas including bio agriculture, science and manufacturing.
“These companies provide critical employment in local areas and have the capacity to generate huge taxable revenue for Australia through exports,” Mr Hedley said.
Mr Hedley said two new categories should be created under the 188B Investment Visa, for each of metropolitan and regional venture capital investment, to provide specific support for regional businesses and entrepreneurs in need.
“The prolonged impact of the drought followed by the catastrophic bushfires and now COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on regional economies,” Mr Hedley said.
“Importantly, this reform could stimulate the creation of regional business hubs with entrepreneurs growing their companies in areas where they can obtain the advantage of available funding.”
Mr Hedley said it makes far greater sense to steer investment into areas of critical need rather than to encourage all stimulus into well established asset markets and cities.
“This is an important opportunity that could help build thriving regional ecosystems,” Mr Hedley said.
“Supporting entrepreneurialism, job creation and business innovation will have profound, long-term impacts on Australia’s regional communities.”
Proposed reform to 188B Investment Visa
· Increase the investment threshold from $1.5 million to $2.5 million for metropolitan regions defined as the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane
· Offer an investment threshold of approximately $1 million for venture capital in regional areas
· Apply the diversified asset complying investment framework of the Significant Investor Visa stream, instead of directing all funds towards State Government Bonds
· Increase the the allocation of investment towards venture capital funds away from more established property and bond markets under the complying investment framework for the Investor Visa and Significant Investor Visa from 10 per cent to 20 per cen
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