City of Erie Makes Forbes Top 20 Opportunity Zones List
As new legislation comes into play, what a city or state does with that opportunity is what sets them apart from other partnerships. The Erie Regional Chamber's Flagship Opportunity Zone was recognized as one of the winners of the Forbes OZ Catalyst Challenge, which took place at the Winter Innovation Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As stated on Forbes' website, "The purpose of The Catalyst List is to showcase how investors, large and small, and rural and urban communities, alike, are pioneering dynamic approaches to equitably revitalize distressed communities."
The award recognized the combined efforts of the Chamber's Flagship Opportunity Zone Development Company and the Erie Downtown Development Corporation as an effort that cultivates successful opportunities for the community. It also noted the success of the Chamber's conference, Erie Homecoming, where $60 million of downtown investment was announced.
The challenge focused on usage of the tax policy, known as the Investing in Opportunity Act. The policy offers wealthy investors and corporations a chance to eradicate their tax obligations and instead, put an immense amount of cash toward some of America's most impoverished communities.
Forbes then recognized the top 20 opportunity zones in America that used these tax breaks as a way to make bold investments, including Erie, Philadelphia, and Baltimore among others. Those selected were grouped as the Top 10 Community Organizations and the Top 10 Opportunity Funds, with the City of Erie making the former.
Both the Erie Regional Chamber and the Erie Downtown Development Corporation have partnered with Mastercard's Center for Inclusive Growth and accounting network KPMG to accurately track and measure the economic and societal impacts of the opportunity zone investments.
The Erie Regional Chamber serves as an economic development agency, while The Flagship Opportunity Zone Development Company cultivates a portfolio of viable and socially impactful projects under the umbrella of the Chamber.
The award is a testament to the work Erie is doing to revitalize the city while fostering meaningful partnerships and creating economic opportunity in a place where the community believes that its best days are still ahead. – Chloe Forbes