Steven LeBlanc, a vice president at Stonehenge, recently joined U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on a panel to discuss Opportunity Zones and how they will help to boost the local economy in highly distressed and low-income communities in Louisiana and beyond. Hosted by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and featured in The Advocate newspaper, the panel focused on the federal Opportunity Zone program, which aims to drive more investment in low-income areas. In Louisiana, 150 census tracts have been certified as Opportunity Zones. The program allows investors to defer some tax payments when they invest in businesses located in qualifying low-income census tracts.
Speakers at the Chamber event also offered expertise on additional economic development programs available to investors interested in financing these types of projects. For example, those utilizing the Opportunity Zone program can also use other existing programs, such as the New Market Tax Credits program, to increase financing and incentives to invest in businesses.
“Louisiana is well-positioned to benefit from Opportunity Zones,” Stonehenge’s LeBlanc noted, according to The Advocate.
Other states will also benefit from these financing tools. Stonehenge Capital is involved in two national coalitions (Economic Innovation Group and Novogradac Opportunity Zone Working Group) working diligently to implement the Opportunity Zone program across the country.