Opportunity Zones

What Are Opportunity Zones?

Opportunity Zones are economically distressed communities where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state, and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury’s delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service. Opportunity Zone eligibility is determined at the census tract level.

Opportunity Zones in Appalachia

There are currently 737 Opportunity Zones across the Appalachian Region, representing 8.5 percent of the designated Opportunity Zones nationwide. More than 2.8 million Appalachian residents live in these designated areas. ARC is a member of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council.

Opportunity Zones are a powerful incentive for investors seeking new ventures that can benefit Appalachian communities, and a chance for deserving projects to attract new capital.

Tim Thomas, ARC Federal Co-Chairman

Map of Opportunity Zones in Appalachia, 2018

How Does ARC Support Opportunity Zones

By connecting Opportunity Zones to ARC investments, communities can better leverage the investment incentives offered by Opportunity Zones, while also benefiting the Region’s most economically distressed areas. This is why ARC encourages potential grantees to consider how to directly impact Opportunity Zones in their proposed project designs. In some cases, like the POWER Initiative, ARC will give project proposals offering direct benefits to Opportunity Zones a scoring advantage during the review process.

ARC’s Investment Impact on Opportunity Zones

71%
of FY 2019 ARC projects provide coverage for an Appalachian Opportunity Zone
85%
of FY 2019 POWER Projects provide coverage for an Appalachian Opportunity Zone
$171,126
the average amount ARC invested per Appalachian Opportunity Zone in FY 2019

Investments in Action

Appalachian Community Capital

With seed money from ARC, Appalachian Community Capital (ACC) was founded to increase business lending opportunities and new sources of capital via community loan funds and Regional Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
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Additional Resources