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Pritzker announces $12 million for opportunity zones

On Monday, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced a plan to invest $12 million into the state’s 327 opportunity zones, one of which is located in DeKalb County.

Governor Pritzker announced this new program at an event to announce a commitment by Fifth Third Bank and the Chicago-based Decennial Group to invest nearly $15 million in Illinois’ opportunity zones, according to a news release.

“Supporting equitable economic growth is one of the central goals of our historic $45 billion capital plan,” Pritzker said. “By investing $12 million in Rebuild Illinois funds in Opportunity Zone projects, we can take advantage of this federal tax incentive to stretch our capital dollars further while creating jobs and opportunity in communities that have suffered from a lack of investment for decades.”

DCEO will invite communities, nonprofits, developers, and other stakeholders to compete for the grants to support projects within the zones. The grants will offer matching funds for infrastructure, utility, remediation and other site preparedness related costs for affordable housing, community development, and commercial real estate projects, according to the release.

The DCEO said it plans to announce the application process in the coming days. Once posted, interested groups will have 90 says to submit grant applications.

Opportunity Zones are defined as distressed or economically underserved areas census tracts. Certain types of investments made in opportunity zones that meet specific criteria stand to receive favorable capital gains tax benefits at both the federal and state levels, according to the release.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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