ENTREPRENEURSHIP DRIVES THE AMERICAN ECONOMY: President Donald J. Trump knows that entrepreneurship is the economic backbone of communities across America.

  • Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over half a million new small businesses are launched each year in the United States, representing nearly 1.4 million new jobs each year.
    • The nearly 30 million small businesses in the United States employ over 57 million American workers, while driving nearly half the of our national GDP.
  • Under the Trump Administration, small business owners are demonstrating the highest levels of optimism in over a decade according to Wells Fargo.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is benefitting new and prospective small business owners across the board, lessening the tax burden on both business owners and employees alike.
    • Before the repeal of the death tax, nearly 20 percent of family business owners reported that planning for the tax’s impacts affected their ability to create jobs.
    • Sole proprietorships, S corporations, and partnerships have all experienced decreases in their top marginal tax rates, benefitting millions of small business owners.
    • For the next five years, American businesses can write off the costs of newly purchased heavy equipment and other investments in their business.
  • Despite the importance of entrepreneurship, the United States economy experienced a net decline in the total number of American firms between 2007 and 2014.
    • The Great Recession had a severely negative impact on new business formation, with the startup rate falling beneath the closure rate in 2009—the first time on record.
      • Many distressed communities have been economically hamstrung by business closures, a lack of access to capital, and poor support for entrepreneurship.
      • Stagnating and decreasing new business creation in low-income areas often compounds negative consequences for labor force development and wage growth.
    • The Opportunity Zones Program focuses on distressed, low-income census tracks for targeted economic investments.

A NEW PATH TO REVITALIZATION: Opportunity Zones represent a systematic approach to economic development in underserved communities.

  • The bipartisan Opportunity Zones Program was officially enacted as part of President Trump’s comprehensive tax reform plan via the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • Opportunity Zones are census tracks designated as eligible to receive private investments through Opportunity Funds.
    • Opportunity Funds are Treasury-certified private investment vehicles that aggregate and deploy private capital into Opportunity Zones.
    • Opportunity Zones exist to fund new and small businesses, develop blighted properties, invest in key local infrastructure projects, finance facility construction or refurbishment, and a number of other activities intended to revitalize and enhance local economic ecosystems.
  • Based on the 2011-2015 American Community Survey, over 41,000 census tracts are eligible for designation as Qualified Opportunity Zones.
  • Over 52 million low-income Americans reside in distressed communities that may benefit from the investment brought by Opportunity Zones.

BRINGING PUBLIC POLICY AND PRIVATE ENTERPRISE TOGETHER: The Opportunity Zones program utilizes sensible policymaking to incentivize private sector investment into our communities.

  • United States investors hold an estimated $2.3 trillion in underutilized capital gains from stocks and mutual funds alone.
    • Opportunity Funds allow investors to roll these passive holdings of accumulated capital gains into distressed communities, by pooling capital and risk with other like-minded investors in a simplified, frictionless manner.
    • Certain investments in Opportunity Zones will no longer be subject to capital gains, in order to best incentivize long-term investor commitment.
  • Opportunity Zones will help attract otherwise wary investors to America’s most underserved communities; new investment will flow into blighted developments, stalled infrastructure projects, and other desperately needed economic enhancements, driving improvements that will help turn dreams to reality.
  • The Trump Administration stands ready to work with Federal, State, and local officials to best implement Opportunity Zones in the communities that need them the most.
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