Invest Acadiana recognized in Forbes ranking for Opportunity Zone work

Invest Acadiana, a joint initiative between One Acadiana and the Acadiana Planning Commission aimed at promoting Opportunity Zone investment, has been recognized as being "committed to achieving equitable economic growth in underserved and overlooked communities."

The Forbes OZ 20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts released a list recognizing 20 community organizations and Opportunity Zone funds. The list is a partnership between Forbes and the Sorenson Impact Center, a think tank.

“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.”

Opportunity zones are low-income areas where developers can receive tax breaks and incentives. Seven census tracts in the north and central parts of Lafayette with about 29,000 residents were designated through the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017.

Across the region, 18 additional census tracts, containing about 72,500 more Acadiana residents, were certified with the same designation last year, which lessens and even eliminates federal capital gain taxes on investments in those areas.

The Acadiana Planning Commission and One Acadiana partnered with the Community Foundation of Acadiana to create the Acadiana Opportunity Zone Prospectus, a tool that provides investors and others with an overview of the region's 25 Opportunity Zone census tracts.

The two groups also worked with the Lafayette Consolidated Government, the Downtown Development Authority, and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority to create the Lafayette Opportunity Zone Prospectus on the seven zones in Lafayette Parish.

“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," said Monique Boulet, CEO of the Acadiana Planning Commission. "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.”

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