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Entrepreneurship must be at the heart of economic development

Governors must act by March 21 to ensure ‘Opportunity Zones’ support business creation and growth in underserved areas.

Startland News' Opportunity Zones

Startup stakeholders: Opportunity Zones could prompt culture shift of redevelopment

Startland’s Leah Wankum covers Kansas City’s Opportunity Zone designations – 54 census tract “clusters” that were submitted in a proposal March 2 to the Governor’s Office.

Have you contacted your governor yet?

Like many cities, our hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, submitted its plan for “Opportunity Zones” to our governor last week. The proposed approach prioritized distressed neighborhoods with a focus on stimulating both investment and entrepreneurship in 54 census tract areas.

This provision of the recently passed tax reform law called the Investing in Opportunity Act has potential to address gaps in entrepreneurship that have left too many people and communities behind, but only if entrepreneurs engage in this conversation and help policymakers understand how it can support business creation and growth in underserved areas.

We hope our governor and others act by next week – March 21 to be exact – to take advantage of this program and leverage entrepreneurship to support more inclusive economic growth.

No matter where you live, we believe that any economic development opportunity with entrepreneurs at the center has more potential to create the jobs, wage growth, and economic dynamism necessary to lift distressed communities.

We encourage you to email or call your governor today. Let’s get the entrepreneurs voice in the room on these decisions and work together to create a new model of economic development.

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