THE CHALLENGE

Entrenched and accelerating economic disparity is a defining challenge of our time. It is fueling a polarization in America that strains civil society and our political processes. Technology-driven efficiencies and globalization only exacerbate the problem, and are leaving behind huge swaths of the country that are sidelined from participating in the economy of our future:

  • Less than 3% of US counties (73 out of 3000) produced more than half of the job growth since 2008.
  • Two-thirds of distressed areas saw a decrease in jobs from 2000 to 2015.
  • Only one in five distressed zip codes added business establishments between 2011 and 2015.

*Economic Innovation Group (2017 Distressed Community Index).

OUR RESPONSE

TGP is launching with an initiative to help state and local leaders leverage the recent “Opportunity Zone” legislation to bring sustainable economic growth and opportunity to distressed communities.

THE SPECIFICS: HOW IT WORKS

A little known part of the 2017 tax bill provides unprecedented incentives to revitalize these distressed communities. As a result of this legislation, all fifty Governors have designated thousands of Opportunity Zones throughout the country – from rust belt cities to rural areas to parts of large urban centers – and investors can get significant tax benefits by investing capital gains in O-zones.

TGP helps state and local leaders build thoughtful, organized approaches to O-zones so that this legislation can have a transformational impact on economic opportunity in distressed communities.

HOW WE DO IT

Advising states on Opportunity Zone Designation: This spring the National Governors’ Association circulated TGP’s white paper, and arranged a live briefing with state economic development leads, on designating Opportunity Zones.

Advising states on post-designation Opportunity Zone support: TGP is releasing a white paper, and will hold briefings, on actions states can take to catalyze and support Opportunity Zone development.

State- and City-wide Opportunity Zone Planning Summits: TGP worked closely with key state officials in Colorado to help plan a convening of key stakeholders in Colorado. The Colorado convening brought together over 250 key stakeholders to begin building a plan for the state’s Opportunity Zones. During the summer and fall of 2018 TGP will help other states and cities with similar Summits.

Opportunity Zone “Playbooks”: beginning in late 2018, TGP will work with the leadership of select Opportunity Zones to develop plans for their zones to attract capital and create economic growth. These plans will become the basis of Opportunity Zone “Playbooks” that TGP will share with communities nationwide.

Axios: VC-led project will help cities make the most of “Opportunity Zones”

BEST PRACTICES FOR STATES

A paper authored by TGP advisors Bruce Katz, Jeremy Novak and Jamie Rubin emphasizes what states can do to help catalyze the Opportunity Zones.