What’s an Opportunity Zone and How Can it Help Your Community?

The ARC hosted a 90-minute Learning Session led by Regional experts about how Appalachian communities can use Opportunity Zones to strengthen local communities. There are 737 distressed communities in Appalachia designed as Opportunity Zones where new investments may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

The session included remarks from Donna Gambrell of Appalachia Community Capital (ACC) and Alex Flachsbart of Opportunity Alabama (OA), who were recognized recently by Forbes Magazine as visionaries for Opportunity Zones. Using ARC support, ACC is working directly with nearly 20 communities to get them ready for successful Opportunity Zone-driven investments and Opportunity Alabama is developing an Opportunity Zones-based funding and business development ecosystem across Alabama’s 37 Appalachian counties.

The seminar, which included formal presentations and a fireside chat, identified these key steps for successfully implementing Opportunity Zone investment strategies:

  1. Organize a local ecosystem
  2. Identify community assets and needs
  3. Prioritize properties and projects
  4. Help facilitate connections

Learn more about Opportunity Zones in Appalachia and view the session here.