When the incentive was introduced in late 2017, OZs were intended to help revitalize the nation’s most underinvested communities. Three years in, we examine the program’s progress to that end with a focus on equitable economic development and housing. In a time when place-based impact investing is vital, we discuss the role of OZs in enhancing and uplifting the strengths of undercapitalized towns, cities, and counties, many of which are communities of color.
The OZ tax incentive was born out of Federal legislation focused on creating jobs, which are foundational to building wealth and prosperity in communities with the most economic potential. However, the use of the OZ incentive to spur investment in operating businesses has been slow to take off. In this workshop, business owners and investors share examples of how some operating businesses have landed OZ capital – including how to incorporate with housing efforts.
Nearly three years after OZs were introduced and one year after Accelerator for America’s Aaron Thomas moderated an economic development-focused panel at Opportunity Virginia’s launch, Mr. Thomas returns to assess the state of affairs across the Commonwealth. This panel will feature representatives from EDAs and localities who will speak to the projects that have come to fruition (or haven’t) in their OZs, including successful mixed-use and housing developments.