BLOOMINGTON - The federal Economic Development Administration has launched an online tool intended to help create investment opportunities within economically distressed areas of the country.

The USA Opportunity Zones tool was created by the Indiana Business Research Center at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

The web-based tool will help target communities that could benefit from long-term investments in low-income neighborhoods.

In return, investors may be eligible to defer paying some capital gains taxes under the Opportunity Zones Initiative.

“Not only does it give an investor, the developer, the entrepreneur the ability to do well,  but also to do good by investing money for social impact to improve the lives of other people who don’t have the means to make money in the private sector,” said John Fleming, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development.

By placing the cursor over locations on the map, it provides potential investors an array of U.S. census and economic data for a targeted area, such as land area, labor force, and manufacturing resources already in place.

“We disclosed as much information, as much data necessary for private investors to seek out good opportunities,” Fleming said.

Fleming says the tool will help economic development practitioners build their five-year comprehensive development strategies by incorporating Opportunity Zones.

“Helping drive transformative private investment to some of the nation’s most distressed communities not through a government program, but by providing critical tax incentives to private investors,” said Fleming.

There are more than 8,760 designated Qualified Opportunity Zones located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five United States territories.

Opportunity Zones were created as part of the tax reform act signed into law by President Trump in December 2017.

Click here to link to the USA Opportunity Zones website.