In April 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department identified two areas in Owensboro — portions of downtown and most of the west side near the Ohio River — as Opportunity Zones.
And on Thursday, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development will have an Opportunity Zones Workshop from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the third floor of the Commerce Center, 200 E. Third St.
One zone is west of the current downtown development and extends south in places as far as the CSX railroad tracks.
It runs along the river almost to Little Hurricane Island.
The other goes from Walnut Street on the west to Center Street on the east and as far south as Ninth Street.
People can register to attend and watch it live online at www.KYOZ.com.
The workshop is free and open to the public.
But reservations are requested because space is limited.
A news release says, “The workshop will assist community and business leaders and others hoping to take advantage of this evolving economic development tool.”
Opportunity Zones were created as a part of the $1.5 trillion tax cut Congress passed in December 2017.
The idea is to create more investments in some of the nation’s lowest-income census tracts.
“Opportunity Zones are a great tool in redeveloping areas which were generally once vibrant,” Candance Castlen Brake, president of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday. “In our community, there are many areas where investors or people with a dream to start their own business can enjoy tax breaks while breathing life back into areas.”
Brittany Johnson, president of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp., said, “The creation of Opportunity Funds can be used as an incentive to bring capital investment into areas that need or want investment and can be used for a variety of economic development activities. Americans can and have had the opportunity to invest in markets throughout the world, but this will allow those investors the chance to invest in U.S. markets and aid in strengthening and rebuilding communities.”
Workshops have already been held in Somerset, Bowling Green and Lexington.
The cabinet said that “details continue to pour in on businesses that could benefit from potential investments within Kentucky Opportunity Zones. The work is not complete, however, and state officials encourage interested parties to continue to submit information for qualifying businesses at www.KYOZ.com.”
Representatives from the cabinet and the Department for Local Government will be at the workshop to provide an update on the latest information about Opportunity Zones and to answer questions.
Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, firstname.lastname@example.org.