Launching an Opportunity Zone in Fresno
Located in California’s Central Valley, Fresno is home to the state’s richest agricultural land — and its most persistent poverty. While job growth has improved in recent years, the region’s communities of color, which account for 72 percent of the population, still struggle with economic inequities. To attract the investment needed to improve the lives of underserved populations, Fresno plans to take advantage of its Opportunity Zones, designated disadvantaged communities that can potentially benefit from a federal tax incentive aimed at promoting economic development. The city will spearhead the development of an Investment Prospectus that prioritizes leveraging private capital toward sustainable, equitable, and inclusive investment. The prospectus will help guide interested investors by highlighting assets, advantages, partnerships, and even shovel-ready projects in the county’s Opportunity Zones.
Fresno is partnering with FUSE executive fellow Clair Whitmer, who is collaborating with local stakeholders, including the Economic Development Corp., to oversee the development of the Investment Prospectus, as well as a first round of investment deals.