Opportunity Zones (OZs) have been a hot topic for economic developers and investors across the country. As the largest federal economic development investment in over a decade, OZs originally excited economic developers because of their promise to deliver community benefits, but as the market has unfolded, OZs have instead been met with criticism. Shifting the narrative to focus on both economic growth and community inclusion is an important step to ensure that OZs deliver on their potential and promise to strengthen the country’s disadvantaged communities.
This January, the International Economic Development Council held their 2019 Leadership Summit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event, aimed at the most senior members of the profession, sets out a broad economic development agenda for the coming year. In this article, Jon Roberts highlights the issues likely to concern economic development organizations throughout 2019.