Save hundreds of regional companies with smart, swift investor reform

| July 31, 2020

Tens of millions of dollars could be deployed to regional economies to help save hundreds of economy-growing startups and emerging companies from collapsing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Australian Government should reform the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) to provide immediate relief to struggling regional economies.

Executive Chairman of Atlas Advisors Australia, Guy Hedley said migrant investors could contribute tens of millions of dollars to support businesses in regional areas through this challenging period.

“Many regional companies are developing pioneering world class innovations in agribusiness, science and technology that could change the way we manage and protect our environment,” Mr Hedley said.

“These companies are a huge source of wealth to their regional communities generating product and services that stimulate local supply chains and support the growth of employment and exports.”

Mr Hedley said two new categories under the 188B Investment Visa should be created for venture capital investment to specifically support for businesses and entrepreneurs in metropolitan and regional areas.

“There is an urgent need for business stimulus in regional areas to respond to the catastrophic impact of droughts, bushfires and COVID-19,” Mr Hedley said.

“This is smart reform that could lead to the creation and growth of thriving regional business hubs.”

Proposed reform to 188B Investment Visa

• Introduce an investment threshold for venture capital in regional areas of approximately $1 million;

• Increase the investment threshold for metropolitan regions (defined as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) from $1.5 million to $2.5 million;

• Adopt the diversified asset complying investment framework of the Significant Investor Visa in lieu of State Government Bonds;

• Increase venture capital investment under the Investor Visa and Significant Investor Visa from 10 per cent to 20 per cent.