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Timmons, Bishop Bill Helps Communities Increase Private Sector Investment

Statement

Congressman William Timmons (SC-04) and Congressman Dan Bishop (NC-09) introduced the Increasing Opportunities for Small Businesses Act to increase local engagement with communities that have Opportunity Zones, which incentivizes private companies to invest in underserved communities to stimulate economic growth and bring good-paying jobs. This legislation would make permanent an administration initiative led by the Small Business Administration to educate businesses on the mechanics of Opportunity Zones to aid self-sustaining growth in underserved communities by providing important educational resources to small business owners.

"Opportunity Zones, a bipartisan initiative authored by South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, encourage investments by private companies into some of our nation's most economically-distressed communities through federal tax incentives. With $75 billion worth of investments already committed, Opportunity Zones have the potential to be the most meaningful anti-poverty initiative since the "Great Society,'" said Rep. William Timmons (SC-04). "The Increasing Opportunities for Small Businesses Act will help make this a reality by targeting and empowering small businesses to make use of these tax incentives. By training and educating field representatives at the Small Business Administration, we can help foster economic opportunity while also reducing poverty in communities that have too often been left behind."

"Opportunity Zones help give underserved urban and rural communities a chance to propel themselves forward with long-term growth and good jobs. My bill prioritizes outreach and education to businesses and local leaders to drive private sector capital to our communities," said Rep. Dan Bishop (NC-09). "I'm proud to introduce this legislation to bolster with the force of law the administration's Opportunity Zones policy and their advocacy efforts to educate businesses and local leaders."

"The Increasing Opportunities for Small Businesses Act is a commonsense solution to help small businesses engage in the Opportunity Zone Incentive," said Shay Hawkins -- President, Opportunity Funds Association. "By increasing the Small Business Administration's role in educating small businesses about Opportunity Zones, businesses in underserved communities will have an additional resource to help during this economic recovery. I applaud Congressman Bishop and Congressman Timmons' leadership, and I look forward to seeing them work with Congress to provide additional resources for Opportunity Zones."

"It took almost two years and thousands of pages of sometimes conflicting regulations to finalize Opportunity Zone (OZ) guidance from the federal government," said Mark Elliott -- Managing Partner, South Carolina Opportunity Fund. "The Increasing Opportunities for Small Businesses Act will finally help get business owners as well as state, local, and federal officials all on the same page to empower everyone to push OZ projects forward! Congressman Timmons and Bishop should be commended for championing legislation which will no doubt accelerate OZ projects nationwide if adopted."

Opportunity Zones were created in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as a way for private sector investments to help low-income and underserved communities. Since then, over $75 billion in investments have been committed for these areas. South Carolina is home to 135 Opportunity Zones. There are nine census tracts in Greenville County and six in Spartanburg County which have been designated as Opportunity Zones.


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