*Provided by Knight Foundation
“The broad objective of this new tax incentive — expanding economic opportunities for places and people left behind — cannot be achieved by the market and outside investors alone. Cities in the broadest sense — local governments, urban institutions, urban networks will need to act with deliberate agency and purpose if Opportunity Zones are to spur growth that is inclusive, sustainable and truly transformative for each city’s economy. The implementation of Opportunity Zones, therefore, will be as much about codifying local norms and models as promulgating federal rules and guidance.
Given this perspective, it is clear that philanthropies have a critical role in helping cities realize the full economic and social impact of Opportunity Zones. Foundations often possess the community legitimacy necessary to convene disparate urban stakeholders around hard challenges and intriguing possibilities. They have the discretionary capital necessary to make investments in community development enterprises and other local institutions so these organizations can leverage Opportunity Zones. They have the patient, risk-tolerant capital necessary to invest in Qualified Opportunity Funds, aligned funds or individual transactions. They have the respect for evidence-driven decision making that is conducive to catalyze, capture, codify and communicate new norms and models as they emerge.”
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