Investing in Businesses in Opportunity Zones

Season 1, Episode 4

In Episode 4: Investing in Businesses in Opportunity Zones, Professor Kate Cooney explains the current status of OZ regulation related to business investment and highlights the key questions about these regulations that have slowed down investor action in this area and also the tensions in play around community benefit.  Dr. Cooney leads listeners through a series of models for supporting local entrepreneurs in OZs, including mixed use housing developments with ground floor commercial that might be both amenable to OZ investments and supportive of the growth of local entrepreneurs, a corner store Bodega economic development program yielding real results, impact investment funds focused on helping small and medium size businesses grow along with the regional economy in gentrifying neighborhoods, and an arts based economic development project with business and neighborhood development in its sights. Guests include: Greg Reaves from Mosaic Development Partners in Philadelphia, Joe Evans from The Kresge Foundation, James Johnson Piett from Urbane Development, Aliana Pineiro from the Boston Impact Initiative, Lucas Turner-Owens from the Boston Ujima Project and Jason Price from NXTHVN in New Haven, CT.  Take a listen!


1. For more information on the second round of OZ guidance, related to business investment in the zones, see the EIG summary and statement here

2. To listen to the Opportunity Zone podcast with Jimmy Atkinson cover the second round of OZ guidance on the issue of business investment regulations. Click here:  Episode June 17th, 2019 Operating Business OZ Fund Strategies & Episode April 22nd, 2019 Takeaways from the New OZ Regulations

3. Joe Cortright, CityCommentary, 2017, Constant Change and gentrification here

4. Karen Chapple’s Urban Displacement Project homepage

5. More information on Anchor Based Economic Development from the Democracy Collaborative

6. Mosaic Development Partners

5. The Kresge Foundation 

6. Boston Impact Intiative

7. Boston Ujima Project


*Photo of a Boston Ujima Project community meeting, courtesy of Lucas Turner-Owens.
Episode Transcript: 

Coming soon