Economic Development

The United States is undergoing a period of dramatic demographic transformation and economic restructuring, which are combining to creating enormous income, wealth and health disparities both within and across cities, metropolitan areas and regions. Today, many communities seem like nothing more than the physical manifestation of decades of disparate federal programs. Our goal is to create “Inclusive Growth” - economic growth that expands educational and employment opportunities, creates wealth, shares prosperity, and engages residents as co-creators and problem solvers.

Step 1: Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones are a new federal incentive introduced in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and are centered around the deferral, reduction, and elimination of capital gains taxes. They represent the latest in a long line of efforts to expand economic opportunities for places and people left behind. Opportunity Zones have the potential to attract hundreds of billions of dollars in private capital, making them one of the largest economic development initiatives in U.S. history. It has become clear that the broad objective of this new tax incentive cannot be achieved by the market and outside investors alone without repeating the failures of similar past initiatives. Cities, counties and states will need to act with deliberate agency and purpose if Opportunity Zones are to engender not only a large volume of individual transactions but broader growth that is inclusive, sustainable and truly transformative for each community’s economy. Our mission is to ‘level the playing field’ so that cities and regions can encourage capital to deploy in ways that serve those most in need. To do this, we create tools for the public sector, hold convenings and investment summits, work individually with cities, and provide technical and financial assistance to communities.

People seated around a conference table.

Step 2: Investment Prospectus

We created the Opportunity Zone Investment Prospectus Guide to enable cities and communities to communicate their competitive advantages, trigger local partnerships and identify sound projects that are ready for public, private and civic capital. Our aim is to help communities and investors get smarter and more precise about the broad range of investment possibilities that exist in Opportunity Zones and, literally, help make and shape markets where there are none. The Investment Prospectus is a hybrid of three more common documents or approaches: a community marketing strategy, an economic development policy brief and a private investment memorandum. The intersection of marketing, policy analysis and capital investment is a way for the public sector to align interests with private capital and civil society.

Step 3: Build your own, empower cities

We provide a number of tools and guides to help your city develop its very own Investment Prospectus. Download our “Investment Prospectus Guide” and follow along. Once done, submit your guide to us and we’ll help fine tune it and ensure that you are providing all the right resources to maximize Opportunity Zones in your city.

Eric Garcetti and others walking in a hallway.