The bipartisan passage of Opportunity Zones (OZs) legislation in December 2017 created a new incentive for investment of capital into low-income communities across the country, and helped catalyze multi-stakeholder conversations on the topic. Tapping into the robust conversation around OZs and the lack of impact requirement in the legislation, the Beeck Center launched a national effort in 2018 to incorporate impact objectives into investment strategies for low-income communities. Our work focuses on collaborating with the many stakeholders involved in this arena, testing new models of community investment and creating tools to measure and track the impact of investment.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its immediate response brought to the forefront the disproportionate effect of this crisis on low-income and under-invested communities. Increasingly fragile economies and underfunded support systems underscore the need for equitable, impact-oriented community investments with a focus on innovation, maximizing assets, and leveraging relationships to positively impact social outcomes. Creating resilient ecosystems fostering community need with targeted assistance, access to capital and proactive policy is essential in vulnerable communities to reduce the racial wealth gap.
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