MNOppCo hosts its statewide Best Practices Webinar for those interested in learning more about opportunity zones. The 2nd session was held on Tuesday, July 16th at 1:30p.m.

This session included:

  • MNOppCo in 2 Minutes
  • What is The Challenge?
  • Peer-to-Peer Presentations: Featuring Duluth’s Jason Hale, Senior Economic Developer
  • Q & A: From across the state

Check out the great quotes from Jason Hale regarding preparing for and utilizing Opportunity Zones in Duluth…

“OZs don’t change our goals, they just make them more attractive.”

“In fact, I get calls more frequently from developers and the first question they will ask me is “hey do you have projects or property in an opportunity zone?” They are getting more and more clued in to how these work and comfortable with them as more information from the treasury has come out and rules. There has been an impact already.”

“People can hesitate about getting outside money. There is money to invest in projects and people want to park it somewhere and we have welcomed that, and we want to get that outside capital. Of course, you have to build that relationship with the developer, but we want to encourage you to be open to that if your community is a little hesitant there is way to get a little more comfortable with that.”

“Both (Duluth projects) would not have occurred but for OZ funds. And both the developers told me that. The OZ fund puts them over the edge and made the return threshold lower which is why they said yes.”

“We embrace, when the opportunity presents itself, outside capital to meet the needs of our community long term.”

“We don’t have everything figured out of course in Duluth we are working on how we can better leverage these opportunity zone funds on how to better provide resources, information and access to local investors. There’s a lot we could still probably maximize but, we have already seen the value they bring to projects.”

“Whether the developer already has their own fund set up or they are looking for new projects, I really encourage municipalities and local entities that Knowing your opportunity zone landscape and city priorities really helps speed line the process. Developers can come to you and you can say ‘Oh yep we know exactly what your are talking about and these are the four sites we recommend looking at or the city really wants XYZ to happen and that really gets them comfortable and saves them time.”

“Nobody wants to fight the city so if they know you are on board from the get-go and have already thought some things through it really gets them more excited and comfortable with investing.”

“It’s really helpful for them (elected officials) to have a baseline knowledge of what opportunity zones are and generally how they work. Because a lot of the time you might have someone email you, a developer or interested party, who from out of town, who knows how they get your contact information but it happens all the time,  and If they mention they are interested in doing a project or they ask about opportunity zones, if not knowing everything about them, knowing where to go to or who to direct them to is helpful.”

MNOppCo gratefully acknowledges LISC, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, for hosting our Best Practices Webinar Series.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: VIEW the MNOppCo webinar here!

The Minnesota Opportunity Collaborative is a partnership that seeks to inspire investment in designated Opportunity Zones. It brings together developers, investors, businesses, and community development entities to host a statewide project and site directory, hold educational events, and share best practices on a regular basis.

Thank you to our founding partners! 

The Minnesota Opportunity Collaborative is powered by The Northspan Group, Inc. & Community Exchange, and funded in part by the Opportunity Zone Fund, the Morgan Fund, and the Community Opportunity Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.