ALBANY, Ga. — The Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission announced today that the Georgia Department of Community Affairs approved on Tuesday the city’s new opportunity zone, a designation nearly a year in the works.
The opportunity zone, which comprises much of the central district of Albany including downtown, provides job tax credits of $3,500 per job, when a minimum of two new jobs are created, to legitimate businesses within the zone. Job tax credits may be claimed for up to five years as long as the jobs are maintained.
“The opportunity zone designation creates incentives that make our underdeveloped central district more attractive to businesses,” Ted Clem, president of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission. “The threshold of two new jobs created regardless of industry provides flexibility by not limiting the size or types of businesses that are eligible for the benefits.”
Downtown Albany Manager Aaron Blair echoes Clem’s sentiments, stressing the added advantages for businesses to open up shop downtown.
“This designation is another key to enabling downtown to attract business thus increase the number of shoppers and workers,” he said, “and ultimately assist in shaping the economic future of downtown and the city of Albany.”
To be eligible for the opportunity zone designation, an area must display pervasive poverty of 15 percent or more; underdevelopment; general distress; blight; and must be within an urban redevelopment plan area or state enterprise zone.
Tax credits will be extended to legitimate businesses within the zone that met the job creation criteria in 2010.
The Albany-Dougherty EDC worked closely with the Southwest Regional Commission and the city of Albany in preparing the appropriate documentation for Georgia DCA.