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Invest Acadiana — a joint initiative of Acadiana Planning Commission and One Acadiana — recognized as a leading Opportunity Zone Community in new national list

Forbes OZ 20

The Forbes OZ 20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts, a partnership between the Sorenson Impact Center and Forbes, have today (December 12, 2019) announced a new list recognizing community organizations and OZ Funds that are committed to achieving equitable economic growth in underserved and overlooked communities throughout the country. We are pleased to announce that Invest Acadiana has been selected as one of 20 communities and opportunity zone funds.

Invest Acadiana is a joint initiative of Acadiana Planning Commission (APC) and One Acadiana (1A) to promote Opportunity Zone investment throughout the nine-parish region of Acadiana.

APC and 1A partnered with the Community Foundation of Acadiana (CFA) to create the Acadiana Opportunity Zone Prospectus, an in-depth tool to provide investors and other stakeholders with an overview of Acadiana’s 25 opportunity zone census tracks. APC and 1A also partnered with Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG), and Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA) in the development of the Lafayette Opportunity Zone Prospectus, a comprehensive document that details the seven qualified census tracts in Lafayette Parish. Both prospectuses can be found at InvestAcadiana.com – an online information hub and matchmaking tool for investors, property owners, developers, and other stakeholders.

More than 8,700 opportunity zones were designated as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These zones were selected in collaboration with State and Federal leaders to drive investment into distressed communities. The incentive offers deferments and savings on capital gains when investors deploy funds in opportunity zone projects. Investments in opportunity zones are empowering teachers to live in the communities they serve, extending grid infrastructure and solar array construction in rural America, and expanding economic opportunity.

“It is an honor to be recognized by Forbes for our work to revitalize distressed communities in opportunity zones throughout Acadiana,” said Troy Wayman, President and CEO of One Acadiana. “We are excited to share this recognition with our community partners and stand united in our shared efforts to bring new jobs, investment, and economic growth to communities across our region.”

Monique Boulet, CEO of the Acadiana Planning Commission, said, “The Opportunity Zone tax incentive targeting our disinvested areas is the tool Acadiana needed to engage the private sector in the hard work of revitalization. Invest Acadiana is an evolving partnership and initiative that is changing the way Acadiana approaches reviving our downtowns. Having the town centers throughout the region and our urban core in Lafayette designated OZs has opened the conversations around blighted corridors, abandoned buildings, entrepreneurial investment, community visioning, project packaging, project pitches, asset mapping and community led revitalization. It is the beginning of meaningful change.”

Jim Sorenson, Founder of the Sorenson Impact Center, said, “We received 113 applications to the Forbes OZ 20, with 62 Funds and 51 communities testing their OZ strategies through a rigorous selection process. The quality and standard of applications was excellent with communities and OZ funds showing a clear commitment to social impact. We are excited to share learnings from the Forbes OZ 20 to help other community organizations and OZ funds deliver real and meaningful change in the communities they support.”

About Acadiana Planning Commission

The Acadiana Planning Commission, Louisiana Planning District 4, APC, serves the public sector with planning and implementation of Community, Watershed, Transportation, and Economic development throughout the Acadiana region. The APC serves as the technical staff for Acadiana’s regional planning commission, the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Louisiana Watershed Initiative Region 5 and the Opportunity Zone Invest Acadiana initiative building capacity in our governments and our partnerships.

About One Acadiana

One Acadiana is the leading economic development organization for the nine-parish Acadiana region located in south Louisiana. With more than 800 investors, members, and partners, One Acadiana serves as the voice of the regional business community. The organization is based in the city of Lafayette and serves a region of roughly 700,000 people with a vibrant culture and unique entrepreneurial spirit.

About the Forbes OZ 20

The Forbes OZ 20 officially launched in the spring of 2019, with applications closing at the end of August 2019. The purpose of this new list is to showcase how large and small investors, as well as rural and urban communities, are pioneering dynamic, equity-minded approaches to the revitalization of distressed communities. By elevating the best examples of OZ work from around the country we hope to showcase the promise and possibilities of the entire OZ landscape.

For questions related to the Forbes OZ 20 contact:

Max Seawright, Director of Communications, Sorenson Impact Center, max.seawright@sorensonimpact.com  (337) 460-5768

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