Lisa Starczewski, co-chair of the firm's Tax section and chair of the Opportunity Zones Practice Team, contributed to a report, "Realizing the Transformative Potential of Opportunity Zone Business Investing: A Guide for Practitioners," - a call to action for all of the economic development practitioners working locally to leverage the maximum potential for maximum benefit for communities.
The report acknowledges the shortcomings of the Opportunity Zones incentive as written and interpreted, while calling attention to the immense potential for transformative business investment, which could spur entrepreneurship, build community wealth and create family sustaining jobs in some of our poorest communities. It shares what to look for from the perspective of investors, business owners and entrepreneurs, and provides how-to information to help get business investors off the sidelines.
It also highlights possible changes that would make this incentive meet the goals intended by its sponsors. Foremost among these challenges is helping cities, states, nonprofits and other economic development organizations to step up and act as intermediaries between investors, Opportunity Funds, entrepreneurs, business owners and residents to truly build community wealth.