A company wants to join with the Muskingum County Port Authority to market the area to foreign investors.
The Hicks Partners from Columbus are applying with the government to take part in the EB5 program. EB5 lets those in foreign countries invest in American companies. In return the investors will receive a Green Card if at least ten jobs are created for every $500,000.
The Hicks Partners currently have partnerships in Columbus, Lucas and Stark Counties, but want to branch into our area. Port Authority Executive Director Mike Jacoby said a global economy makes this possible.
"That’s the way business is done today. It’s just another tool. Another resource we can maybe get some deals done. We can maybe never find the right deal, but maybe we do."
While some board members were concerned they’d have no say in the types of businesses being brought to our area, Jacoby said unless the Port is giving incentives or selling land they wouldn’t have a say anyway.
"They’re certain regulations that any business is going to have to comply with, but we don’t as a society typically make value judgments that we want these people, but we don’t want these people. That’s why this is America."
The board voted to assist Hicks Partners after the agreement was reviewed by the Port’s council Dave Tarbert.