Deportations, lack of visas will hurt our economy. Find ways to protect your business.

By James S. Cassel

No matter where you stand on political issues, it is important to recognize that the current administration’s actions and proposed deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants and reduction of available visas will have serious, unintended negative consequences for our economy and possibly your business. Middle-market business owners should understand the potential impacts on their businesses and take necessary steps to prepare.

While much of the concern has been centered on the impacts on such industries as construction and hospitality, a broad spectrum of other industries will be harmed. The technology, fashion, farming, horse racing, meatpacking, and trucking industries, to name a few, are substantially driven by the labor, knowledge and spending power of visa holders and undocumented immigrants. We are hearing of labor shortages with April’s unemployment at a 4.4 percent rate.


Undocumented immigrants currently represent a material number of our workforce and our underground economy, and removing them from our country will hurt all sectors, including the middle market. Recent data from the National Bureau of Economic Research show undocumented immigrants currently represent 5 percent of the U.S. workforce and contribute about 3 percent of the annual gross domestic product — amounting to approximately $5 trillion every 10 years.

Deportation of all 11 million unauthorized immigrants currently living in the U.S., although highly unlikely, is projected to cause the GDP to drop over $400 billion, or approximately 2.6 percent, every year, according to research from the nonpartisan Center for American Progress.

Deportation will mean rent, mortgages and other debts will go unpaid. Fear of deportation will cause people to spend less, hurting our GDP and local businesses.

Deporting people — many of whom were educated in our schools and also pay various taxes — will strengthen our competitors in other countries by giving away what business experts consider a company’s greatest asset: its people with expertise.

Limited access to visas

While abuses of the visas program may occur from time to time, it is definitely not the norm. For the most part, this program has become integral to many U.S. businesses and our economy.

Proposed changes to the visas program — including requiring some people to leave the country and reducing the number of available visas — will worsen the existing shortage of labor and make it even harder for employers to fill vacancies and/or retain their skilled employees who have helped build their businesses.

So, what steps should you take now?

▪ Keep abreast of the news, write to your government leaders and voice any comments or concerns.

▪ If you expect to lose employees, you should begin evaluating training programs, apprentice programs and/or automation.

▪ Consider hiring part-timers and offering alternative work schedules to enable you to hire mothers and other qualified employees who might need flexible hours and other unique arrangements.

▪ You might have to find a way to streamline your business operations and have fewer people working for you. Consider automation.

▪ Examine your employees’ visas to find all categories that would permit them to stay.

▪ Depending on your industry, you might need to consider opening an office offshore.

▪ As an option of last resort, you might need to shrink your business. Eliminate the least profitable business lines, and use this as an opportunity to grow your stronger product lines.

It is important to bear in mind that approximately 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their sons and daughters, an increasingly common trend. A recent study from the nonpartisan National Foundation for American Policy shows immigrants started 51 percent of all billion-dollar startups and make up 70 percent of key management roles in these companies.

Unfortunately, since we still do not fully understand exactly what changes will be implemented, it is not yet possible to develop a clear path forward. Keeping a close pulse on these issues and collaborating with experts can help you protect your business interests.

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Las Olas Venture Capital Announces Investment in ReloQuest

Award-Winning Technology Considered a Breakthrough for Global Mobility Industry

MIAMI & FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – May 9, 2017 – Las Olas Venture Capital announces an investment in ReloQuest, the first-of-its-kind cloud-based platform that provides an independent, unbiased and fully transparent resource for global mobility clients and individuals in need of sourcing temporary housing, serviced apartments, and hotels.

“ReloQuest has all of the attributes that foretell a highly successful digital marketplace,” said Dean Hatton, one of LOVC’s Founding Partners.  “With its flexible workflow management tools, the ReloQuest platform also solves complex business coordination problems and eliminates inefficiencies.  We are very excited to partner with Darin Karp, ReloQuest Founder and CEO.”

The ReloQuest team drew from its extensive industry experience to develop the ReloQuest technology, which reflects an understanding of client needs in sourcing accommodations, quickly comparing global options, collecting data to provide customizable analytics, and proficiently managing the supply chain.

Scott Salpeter with investment banking firm Cassel Salpeter & Co. advised ReloQuest on the transaction.

”We appreciate Cassel Salpeter’s assistance in making introductions to the right investors and with the deal negotiations,” said Darin Karp, ReloQuest Founder and CEO. “Working with Cassel Salpeter allowed me to focus on customer success and growth while raising much needed growth capital.”

About ReloQuest, Inc.
ReloQuest is the industry leader and the only temporary housing platform that provides an independent, unbiased and fully transparent resource to global mobility clients and individuals in need of sourcing temporary housing, service apartments, and hotels, worldwide. Its award-winning technology is quickly becoming the industry standard by delivering a much-needed tool to facilitate educated decisions and provide supporting data to clients. More information is available at

About Las Olas Venture Capital
Las Olas VC is a Florida-based early stage fund that invests in startups in a variety of industries. Las Olas VC’s mission is to find outstanding entrepreneurs in non-obvious places and maximize their impact by connecting them to networks of capital, talent, and customers in well-established startup ecosystems. Dean HattonEsteban ReyesPaul Tanner and Mark Volchek are the Founding Partners of Las Olas VC. For more information visit

About Cassel Salpeter & Co.
Cassel Salpeter & Co., LLC is an independent investment banking firm that provides advice to middle market and emerging growth companies in the U.S. and worldwide. Together, the firm’s professionals have more than 50 years of experience providing private and public companies with a broad spectrum of investment banking and financial advisory services, including: mergers and acquisitions; equity and debt capital raises; fairness and solvency opinions; valuations; and restructurings, such as 363 sales and plans of reorganization. Co-founded by James Cassel and Scott Salpeter, the firm provides objective, unbiased, results-focused services that clients need to achieve their goals. Personally involved at every stage of all engagements, the firm’s senior partners have forged relationships and completed hundreds of transactions and assignments nationwide. The firm’s headquarters are in Miami. Member FINRA and SIPC. More information is available at

NephroGenex sold assets to Medpace Research

  • Background: NephroGenex, headquartered in Raleigh, NC, is a specialty pharmaceutical Company that focused on the development of therapeutics to treat kidney disease. Based on financial considerations, the firm decided to pause its two key programs: 1) its Phase III clinical program for oral Pyridorin for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy and 2) its Phase I ready program for IV Pyridorin for the treatment of acute kidney injuries.
  • Cassel Salpeter:
    • Served as the exclusive financial advisor to the Company
    • Served as restructuring advisor to debtor in a bankruptcy matter, identifying and contacting over 275 strategic and financial parties
  • Challenges:
    • Drug failed to show a significant effect over the placebo in Phase III clinical trails
    • Complexity and duration of bankruptcy proceedings
  • Outcome: On May 10, 2017, the United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Delaware entered an order confirming the Sale pursuant to a Plan of Reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. The plan became effective on May 24, 2017.