The United States is undergoing a period of dramatic demographic transformation and economic restructuring, which combine to create enormous income, wealth and health disparities both within and across cities, metropolitan areas and regions. Opportunity Zones – a new federal incentive centered on the deferral, reduction, and elimination of capital gains taxes – represent the latest in a long line of efforts to expand economic opportunities for places and people left behind.
The current suite of economic and community development policies and practices as well as instruments, intermediaries and institutions are ill-equipped to grow economies in a way that expands work, raises wages and builds wealth for a broad segment of their residents. What is needed is a new approach to economic development that is both federalist and multi-sectoral in design, financing and delivery.
Accelerator for America in partnership with the Center for Inclusive Growth seeks to provide strategic support to the best local initiatives to strengthen people’s economic security, specifically those initiatives that connect people with existing jobs, create new opportunities and foster infrastructure development. The Nowak Metro Finance Lab was founded in 2018 to help cities identify and implement innovative strategies to leverage public assets and fund public infrastructure for public benefit, with a focus on supporting inclusive and equitable growth.
The Center for Inclusive Growth is excited to sponsor the Opportunity Zone Investor Summit, a convening of city and community leaders, NGOs, foundations and investors that will accelerate the creation of best practices and models by highlighting innovative and impactful Opportunity Zone communities, funds and projects.
While the incentives of the Opportunity Zone legislation are attractive, the economic development community is left with little guidance on how to maximize what could be $100 billion in equity investment. The goal is to level the playing field between the public and private sectors, empowering cities and communities to leverage the Opportunity Zone incentive by pursuing development most additive to their most vulnerable residents.