Created via the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones offer substantial incentives to encourage long-term growth-oriented investment in distressed communities.
OZs are composed of census tracts meeting income & geographic eligibility criteria aimed at spurring economic mobility for those too often left behind.
The benefits come through deferred and reduced capital gains taxes when realized proceeds get reinvested in qualified funds dedicated to financing developments or enterprises within designated zones through 2026.
With over $6 trillion in unrealized capital gains held in the US, this policy taps into an unprecedented pool of mobilized public and private investment if aligned for good.
Spotlight: Chicago Opportunity Zones
Chicago contains 133 designated Opportunity Zone tracts encompassing neighborhoods from Rogers Park to Riverdale.
The map below visualizes zone distribution across community areas:
While downtown tracts exist, many span historically disinvested regions of the South and West sides primed for an economic infusion that dignifies.
Early Successes Building Momentum
Across these zones, we’re already witnessing ventures balancing purpose and profits:
Many more equitable projects are now exploring alignment with Opportunity Fund capital.
With the clock ticking towards the end of benefits, the time is now for community participation.
Resources to Learn More About Opportunity Zones
As public awareness expands, it is our shared duty to ensure historically excluded people not only participate but retain long-term stakeholding and leadership.