On October 11, the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) hosted a webinar to discuss recent efforts to evaluate the impact of Opportunity Zones (OZ) investments and create networks and systems for information-sharing and compliance.


Key Takeaways

EIG’s Catherine Lyons opened the webinar by sharing OZ updates and resources, including Sorenson Impact Center’s Rural Opportunity Zone and Recovery Playbook and an analysis of the Opportunity Zones Transparency, Extension, and Improvement Act of 2022 (OZTEIA). Rachel Reilly of Aces & Archers then provided background on data-driven investment strategies and approaches to fund management, stating that OZ stakeholders are actively leaning on data at every stage of the investment life-cycle in order to optimize their operations and impact. Reilly highlighted efforts by Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund, Revitate, Catalyst Opportunity Fund and JTC Americas to demonstrate that high-impact OZ strategies are possible and profitable.

Guest speakers Howard Wial of ICIC and Al Puchala of CapZone provided insights on evaluating the impact of Opportunity Zones (OZ) investments and creating networks and systems for information-sharing and compliance.

Wial shared an overview of ICIC’s work with Arctaris Impact Investors to analyze the economic, social, and environmental impact of OZ investments. 

  • ICIC worked closely with Arctaris to develop an annual impact survey for its portfolio companies, which included questions on company ownership and management; employment; wages, salaries, and benefits; and environmentally sustainable practices.
  • ICIC then benchmarked portfolio company performance against industry and regional averages, and conducted in-depth interviews with key portfolio company leaders to learn more about how Arctaris’ investment might improve their operations and community impact. 

Additional information about ICIC’s findings are highlighted in the 2021 Arctaris Impact Report

Puchala provided an overview of the breadth of OZ activities CapZone engages in to connect investor capital to community priorities.

  • CapZone collaborates with public sector officials, project developers, and community organizations to deploy OZ investment in government-related real estate, workforce housing, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, and job-creating operating businesses. 
  • Through CapZone Analytics, CapZone offers a range of services to meet the evolving needs of the OZ marketplace. CapZone Analytics provides: diligence services that include stakeholder engagement and impact measurement; fund support to help manage stakeholder and vendor relationships as well as financial analysis; and compliance services to support reporting requirements and impact measurement. 

Resources Discussed

Visit EIG’s OZ Resources webpage for additional information including deal profiles, mapped activity, and recordings of previous webinars. 

Opportunity Zones Community Development Public Policy

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