Opportunity Zone helps spur revitalization in Clayton County - CBS46 News

Opportunity Zone helps spur revitalization in Clayton County

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Two years removed from a 13 percent unemployment rate, economic developers in Clayton County are hopeful they are witnessing the beginning of a steady growth trend, spurred by local and federal tax incentives.

The northern section of Clayton County was so hard-hit by the recession, it was labeled an Opportunity Zone by the state. The designation opened up tax incentives for businesses who want to expand or start operations there, allowing a $4,000 tax break per new employee hired within the area near the airport.

"That alone is a catalyst," said Grant Wainscott with the Clayton County Office of Economic Development. "We've seen almost a 3 percent drop in (unemployment) in the past 24 months."

Wainscott said they've seen at least 10 businesses either come to or expand in Clayton County since the start of 2012, when the Opportunity Zone went into effect. He cites their location as another reason they're able to bring in new business.

"Being home to the world's busiest airport really has been the fuel to this fire," he said.

Wainscott said they're expecting a quarter of a billion dollars of investments by businesses in northern Clayton County in the next several years.

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