Ben Carson: More Than $25B Committed To ‘Opportunity Zones’ In Inner Cities Thanks To Trump

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced big numbers while describing the early successes of President Trump‘s executive order forming “Opportunity Zones” in low-income, urban areas.

Carson stated that private businesses are committed to spending $25 billion in inner cities throughout the U.S., pledging to build businesses in areas that weak or abandoned economically.

Ben Carson told Fox Business host Stuart Varney that companies are creating new jobs and opening new businesses in large cities throughout our country, capturing the excitement of Republicans and Democrats alike.

“We already have over 25 billion dollars committed to ‘opportunity zones.’ I’ve had the opportunity to visit several of them and just last Friday, I was in St. Louis where an old, abandoned foundry is serving as the nidus for the entire area and the opportunity zone. They’re going to have entertainment. They’re going to have grocery stores. They’re going to have apartments. They’re going to have businesses for employment, training. All kinds of things going on and an enormous amount of excitement. And the best thing is there were Republicans there and Democrats there and they were all having a good time together.” said Carson.

He also explained that this administration is very optimistic about the development of “opportunity zones” because it has a potential to lead to long-term investments in the city instead of temporary assistance to those in need. The President’s executive order offered a tax incentive for businesses to invest in “opportunity zones.” The longer the businesses stay, the more the incentive grows.

“The real difference with these opportunity zones is that the investment doesn’t really pay off until [the business] has been there for five years,” Carson explained, as he noted that the largest incentive doesn’t kick in until the company has been operating for at least ten years.

You’re going to be very interested in your return on investment so you’re not just going to walk away,” he explained. “That’s really going to make a big difference. That’s never been done before.”

The unemployment rates in inner cities is often well above the national average, with part of the problem being that not many businesses are willing to try to develop in economically unstable areas.

When Trump announced his executive order forming the “opportunity zones,” he explained that he believes the program will ensure that every American is lifted by the recent economic boom of our country.

“Our goal is to make sure America’s great new prosperity is broadly shared by all our citizens,” said the President, later adding, “No citizen will be forgotten, no community will be ignored, and no American will be left on the sidelines.”

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