GREENSBORO, N.C. — More than 60 top state and local leaders will meet on Friday to discuss The North Carolina Opportunity Zones program in Greensboro.

It’s a federal economic development program that encourages long-term investment in low-income urban and rural communities.

Congress established the Opportunity Zones program under The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Qualified investors are offered certain tax benefits when they invest unrealized capital gains through an Opportunity Fund.

An unrealized gain is a profit that exists on paper, resulting from an investment.

According to The North Carolina Department of Commerce, qualified investors who participate in the program could receive three key federal tax incentives:

  • Temporary tax deferral for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund
  • Step-up in basis for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund
  • Permanent exclusion from taxable income of long-term capital gains

According to the IRS, the Opportunity Zones program benefits distressed communities through increase investments, spurring economic development, housing, and job creation.

North Carolina has a total of 252 sites labeled as Opportunity Zones.
According to The North Carolina Department of Commerce, those tracts represent:

  • A total population over 1.1 million people
  • Nearly 45,000 families with children in poverty
  • Over 50,000 business establishments
  • Over $580 million in received public and private investments over the past 5 years

The City of Greensboro has a total of 10 sites labeled as Opportunity Zones.

The Opportunity Zones overlap with various areas previously designated by the City for investment and reinvestment.

U.S. Congressman Mark Walker will act as the main host for the Opportunity Zones discussion with community leaders, local officials, and members of the Triad economic development community.

U.S. Senator Tim Scott and Deputy Assistant to the President on Legislative Affairs Ja'Ron Smith will attend the event.

The agenda includes a breakfast and conversation at North Carolina A&T State University.

The event will end with a business tour of Core Technology, a company that recently located to an Opportunity Zone in East Greensboro.

Rep. Walker sent WFMY News 2 a statement regarding the importance of Opportunity Zones in the Triad:

"This is the first effort of its kind to attract investment and infrastructure development in low-income and often overlooked population centers. We are excited to have ten Opportunity Zones here in Greensboro. I am proud to be hosting these discussions with Senator Scott, the White House and Triad community leaders and economic developers to talk about how we can use this new program to incentivize investment and growth in our community. Opportunity Zones will empower people to lift themselves out of poverty and remove geographic obstacles to prosperity."

To learn more about The North Carolina Opportunity Zones program, click here.