Today, Maryvale Revitalization Corporation (MRC) hosted the Phoenix Opportunity Revitalization and Entrepreneurship Summit at Maryvale Community Center in conjunction with the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Phoenix was one of 16 cities selected across the country to host an Opportunity Revitalization and Entrepreneurship Summit. The event gathered leaders from federal, state, local and community levels, as well as investors and entrepreneurs to discuss best practices for revitalization, Opportunity Zone investments, and collaboration at all levels of government and business in Arizona.
“People do not care what you know until they know that you care,” said Ashley D. Bell, White House Policy Advisor. Organizations that care were in abundance at the Phoenix Opportunity Revitalization and Entrepreneurship Summit. In addition to Maryvale Revitalization Corporation, participants included Arizona Bank & Trust, Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Arizona SBDC Network, AZ MBDA, AZPTAC, Business Development Finance Corporation, Chicanos Por La Causa, City of Phoenix, Department of Defense Airforce, Faegre Baker Daniels, Fortuitous Partners Opportunity Zone Fund, the IRS, LISC, Maricopa Community Colleges, Minority Business Development Agency, Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization, OZ Fund – Defer Gain, LLC, Pacific SW Minority Supplier Development Council, Prestamos CDFI, Salt River Project, Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center, Small Business Programs Luke AFB, Snell & Wilmer, Texas Capital Bank, United States Department of Housing & Urban Development, Qualytics, and the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council.
The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council formed in December 2018 as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and to incentivize long-term investments in communities nationwide. The council has partnered with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other organizations to target, streamline and coordinate federal resources that will help Phoenix and other cities unleash economic potential. Opportunity Zones are projected to spur $100 billion in private investment in these communities.
Panel discussions included:
1. Opportunity Zone Overview – An overview of state and local opportunity zone efforts, including current projects and legislation underway, processes for opportunity, challenges and successes.
2. Access to Capital Related to Opportunity Zones – Focus on money available for investment in the opportunity zone and for community growth/investment through traditional lending, private equity, and opportunity zone funds. This includes opportunities for starting a small business.
3. Private Public Contracting for Entrepreneurs – Discuss challenges and success in opportunity zone with a focus on private contracting that incorporates the National Minority Supplier Development Council & Minority Business Development Agency.
“Small businesses create two out of every three jobs, so support for them in opportunity zones likes ours is essential for economic development,” said Jeff Armor, MRC’s Executive Director. “The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council and the SBA gained insight from elected officials and entrepreneurs in relation to current efforts and development as well as available funding and resources to better understand what is needed to empower Phoenix.”
“Maryvale Revitalization Corporation knows that Maryvale means opportunity, and we are pleased that the White House called on us to gather stakeholders from around the Valley to discuss and promote Maryvale Village and other communities in Phoenix opportunity zones,” said Armor.