Earlier this month, ASBN was on-location in Clayton County, Georgia for the 2019 Opportunity Zones Summit, an event dedicated to encouraging the growth and expansion of the county’s small business community. As part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, opportunity zones were created by the Trump Administration to strengthen economic infrastructure and increase business investment with aggressive tax credits. For the 35 million people living in opportunity zones nationwide, this program has seen unemployment and poverty rates fall over the past 2 years, and Clayton County is no exception. We caught up with a number of officials from the SBA, HUD, and the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council.
Attending the Summit were businesses who were based both inside and outside of Georgia, as well as government contractors, all there to learn more about these opportunity zones and what incentives were being offered in order to move to Clayton County. One part of these incentives include the stacking of an opportunity zone and a HUBZone which incentivizes businesses to do more government contracting. Then businesses have to figure out how to move there and how to pay for that, and sometimes with traditional loans starting at about 10 percent injections, this can be harmful to people. Instead, Clayton County offers businesses cash to pay their equity injection for every job they create, which has never been done in Georgia before.
The second part of these incentives is that they are helping these businesses out with housing and relocation. If you are moving to Clayton County and looking to purchase a home they are going to help business owners out with down payment assistance. This is to help both businesses and business employees to move to Clayton County with this down payment assistance.
But what really sets this program apart from other government incentive programs is the longevity of it. By looking at both public and private partnerships for program funding this program really has the ability to be much more of a long term and effective program than others before it.
To hear more about the Opportunity Zones Summit check out our full interview above.
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