The EIG is a strong advocate for the Investing in Opportunity Act, which proposes favorable tax treatment for investors putting money into distressed “opportunity zones,” and has supporters on both sides of Congress. Lettieri argues that an economic dynamism agenda can receive cross-party support where more controversial policies struggle. “There’s a lot of debate in Congress about the future of the economy, but there’s broad bipartisan and empirical support for restoring historic levels of dynamism and really restoring power to entrepreneurs and workers over incumbents and entrenched interests,” he says.
Sure, the economy has grown, but this growth has been heavily concentrated in major cosmopolitan metro areas, largely bypassing the 50 million Americans living in economically distressed communities. The good news is that First District U.S. Rep. Richard Neal is leading the charge to reverse these trends for Massachusetts residents living in distressed areas by sponsoring the Investing in Opportunity Act. This bipartisan legislation is designed to inject new life into America's economic engine through an innovative approach that connects "left behind" communities with the long-term private capital investments they desperately need.
I’m hoping the Investing in Opportunity Act passes later this year. It makes sense and will get more money to entrepreneurs in places that need it. If you think this sounds like a good idea, write your Congressman and let him or her know. Entrepreneurs in tough places have it hard enough – let’s make starting businesses in places that need it a little easier.
Introduced last year by bipartisan members of Congress, the Investing in Opportunity Act (IIOA) is the rare piece of legislation that brings together both parties. It’s designed to encourage new investment in communities that suffer from a lack of business growth, in three ways. First, the IIOA will drive capital to different parts of the country. Second, the law will put decision-making power in the hands of people closer to the ground. Finally, the IIOA will encourage us to re-think the purpose of business.
For its part, EIG favors more private investment. One possible mechanism is a bill, the Investing in Opportunity Act, which would encourage new investment in distressed communities through tax breaks. On the regulation side, recall this idea from venture capitalist Marc Andreessen which encourages state and local governments to figure out:
Joint Economic Committee Hearing on the Decline of Economic Opportunity in the United States: Causes and Consequences
On April 5th, John Lettieri, co-founder and senior director for policy and strategy at the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), testified before the Joint Economic Committee at its hearing on the state of entrepreneurship entitled, “The Decline of Economic Opportunity in the United States: Causes and Consequences.”
The Investing in Opportunity Act aims to make investing in struggling areas as simple as choosing any other asset class. After all, American investors have long put their money in funds that bet on foreign emerging markets. Shouldn’t they be able to do the same for American communities on the rise?