CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Representatives from all over the Charleston-Huntington metro area were on hand in the capital city on Friday morning for an announcement that they hope will benefit everyone.
U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin, and South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens spoke at the announcement of an ‘Opportunity Zone’ collaboration with Advantage Valley.
Part of the presser unveiled a “pitch book” that promotes 13 Opportunity Zones in the metro region with 20 investment opportunities tracts in those areas.
“They aren’t every single project that you could invest in, in the Opportunity Zone but they are indicative of the projects that we have here in the region,” Terrell Ellis, the Executive Director of Advantage Valley said.
Boone, Jackson and Mason county leaders were all on hand for the discussion that was held at the future location of an Elk City distillery inside an Opportunity Zone.
The state has 55 designated Opportunity Zones with numerous ones being inside the Charleston-Huntington metro area.
The zones, which were enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in 2017, offers significant tax incentives for private investing in low-income communities through a qualified Opportunity Fund.
“If we can take advantage through Advantage Valley of our workforce, our opportunities, economic development specialists, we can really transform our economy here. It’s a long-term thing but that is what we are looking at,” Capito told MetroNews as she has been an advocate of Opportunity Zones.
Advantage Valley calls the pitch book a “complete guide” for investing in the zones and features projects in the areas such as industrial, housing and entrepreneurship.
Ellis said that the region of around 600,000 people has a lot to offer and the pitch book will showcase that.
“We are able to talk about a region that has three interstates, two class one railroads, two airports, educational institutions that are research and private colleges and community and technical colleges. We can talk about our advanced manufacturing training center,” she said.
Ellis said Advantage Valley officials have been all over the map in the United State showcasing the book and telling the story of what is offered in the region to attract businesses.
“We’ve had some great responses as we are going out to other states and talking to companies about trying to locate here. They have no idea of the assets that we have,” she said.
Williams preached coming together as a region to be a market force as the tracts in Huntington included East Downtown and Marshall, Downtown and West Huntington. Mullens said this partnership will make the future bright as the South Charleston tracts included the Spring Hill area.
Charleston’s tracts included Downtown, Warehouse District, West Side & Elk City, and Kanawha City as Goodwin understood the importance of one strong city can make the other one just as strong.
To learn more about the pitch book that was funded by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and what is inside, click HERE.
Great spirit of regional collaboration! @SenCapito, Mayors @AmySGoodwin, Frank Mullens, and Steve Williams @HuntingtonMayor and reps from Boone, Jackson, and Mason Counties, unveil an Opportunity Zone Pitch Book, funded by @TGKVF1 https://t.co/3nxKsBby9k #OpportunityZone #econdev pic.twitter.com/IcPOqOK6eU
— Advantage Valley WV (@AdvntageValley) June 21, 2019