Federal "Opportunity Zones" in DE hope to spur development

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The federal program establishes Opportunity Zones, or low-income Census tracts, to boost private investment in under-served urban and rural communities, according to ESD.

Qualified zones must have a poverty rate of at least 20 percent of a median income that does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income.

"We all know that Stratford is a great place to live, work, and open a business - This Opportunity Zone designation is the icing on the cake".

The list of 62 finalists will now be forwarded to the U.S. Treasury for review and final certification. The Delaware sites include a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial properties that are well-positioned to compete for the significant investment needed in low-income communities across the state.

There are almost 1,200 eligible census tracts and the governor designated 300 tracts based on economic data, recommendations from local partners, and the likelihood of private-sector investment in those tracts.

"The Opportunity Zone program allows Maryland to attract capital to energize the development of communities that have not traditionally seen private sector investment, and they will be a game-changer for Maryland", said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt in a statement.

Though the census tracts in the city have a much higher poverty rate than West Reading, the Opportunity Zone legislation allows for the designation of communities that border designated low-income census tracts.

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A map of the Ohio Opportunity Zones - 320 tracts were approved in 73 counties - is available here.

What is an Opportunity Fund and Applicable Investment Assets?

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and the Maryland Department of Commerce announced the news Friday. Two California opportunity zones ended up overlapping with parts of Redwood City.

She hopes the opportunity zones could address the lack of growth in her area.

Through the program, part of the tax bill passed by Congress in December, investors can create "opportunity funds" that invest at least 90% of their capital in the zones.

"As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Cinnaire is very excited to potentially facilitate these opportunity zone partnerships and strengthen Delaware's economy", saidJim Peffley, executive vice president of Cinnaire.

More information about Opportunity Zones can be found here.

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