On Thursday, November 15, Invest Atlanta hosted a learning session about Federal Opportunity Zones. This new program is a new tool the City of Atlanta can use to drive investment where it is needed most.
These new Federal Opportunity Zones represent the first new federal incentive for community development in 15 years, with the potential to drive millions of dollars in private investment to support our businesses and economic growth. (Through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, the federal government’s last major community development effort, Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI) has successfully guided over $200 million in investments to local neighborhoods.) The City of Atlanta has 27 Qualified Opportunity Zones, and Invest Atlanta played a critical role in recommending Census Tracts to Governor Nathan Deal for selection.
The workshop is an important first step in Invest Atlanta’s efforts to connect eligible projects to Opportunity Zone investors. Attendees were provided information to help them gain a greater understanding of what this new tax incentive offers and how to act. In attendance were several members of the Atlanta City Council, business owners, real estate developers, investors, and many other stakeholders.
The event featured two knowledgeable and engaging speakers. Brad Elphick is a Partner in the Atlanta office of Novogradac & Company, one of the nation’s leading accounting firms. He specializes in developer consulting with an emphasis in community development financing programs. Ross Baird is President at Village Capital Group, a global leader in impact investing, who specializes in developing programs to provide venture capital for start-ups, technology businesses, and ventures that revitalize communities.
Elphic gave a detailed overview of how the new Federal Opportunity Zones incentive works, while Baird provided insight on what Opportunity Zones investors see as good strategies to utilize this new incentive to achieve good outcomes.
To learn more about our program, visit our Federal Opportunity Zones page here.