Washington, DCToday, Representatives John Curtis (R-UT) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) are introducing a bill to help small businesses struggling due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The bipartisan COVID-19-Impacted Small Business Opportunity Zone Act would temporarily define small businesses impacted by COVID-19 as “Qualified Opportunity Zone Businesses,” incentivizing private investment in these entities by providing their investors with similar tax incentives to Opportunity Zones.

“My bill, the COVID-19-Impacted Small Business Opportunity Zone Act, creates a new incentive to spur private investment in entrepreneurial businesses impacted by COVID-19, including helping mom-and-pop shops in Utah weather this crisis,” said Curtis. “Individuals with extra capital to invest would be incentivized to support local Utah businesses, and ensure their employees can stay employed during and after the COVID-19 crisis.”

“During uncertain economic times, we need to have collaboration, communication, and coordination between the government and private sector,” said Cuellar. “The COVID-19-Impacted Small Business Opportunity Zone Act bridges private and government resources to bring much needed investment to small businesses across the nation. I am committed to fighting for the small business owners and entrepreneurs who built this country and remain the backbone of the U.S. economy. I want to thank Congressman Curtis for working in bipartisan fashion to protect our legacy of American economic prosperity.”

Statements of Support:

Derek B. Miller, President and CEO Salt Lake Chamber: “Small businesses epitomize the American entrepreneurial spirit- identifying and seizing opportunity and meeting the needs of our communities. The designation of Opportunity Zones, has proven to be an effective way to encourage targeted economic development. As we reactive our economy and recover from this health and economic crisis, encouraging and incentivizing private investment in our small businesses will help that recovery happen more quickly and broadly than government investment can accomplish on its own. The Salt Lake Chamber appreciates Congressman Curtis’ foresight through this bill to proactively address and facilitate the investments that will be needed to recover fully and quickly from this crisis.”

Kyle Walker, Chairman of the Board – Opportunity Zone Association of America (OZAA): “Opportunity Zone Association of America (OZAA), a national trade association of Opportunity Zone stakeholders, applauds Congressman Curtis’s initiative to support America’s small businesses during the COVID19 recovery by amending the Opportunity Zone legislation. Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. To ensure a robust recovery, we must ensure our small businesses attract the necessary equity capital for them to stabilize and grow. Congressman Curtis’s amendment to the Opportunity Zone legislation will incentivize investors to invest in small businesses, thereby helping our Main Streets reopen.”

Background:

Opportunity Zones were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, incentives are provided for investing in “Opportunity Zones”—defined in the 2017 tax bill based on income & census data. Opportunity Zones incentivize investment by allowing investors to defer taxes on capital gains.

Click here for currently designated Opportunity Zones in Utah.  

Full text of the bill available [HERE].

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