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San Bernardino County Opportunity Zone Program

San Bernardino County, CA
Program Year: 2021

The Opportunity Zones (OZ) tax incentive was part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In 2018, 57 census tracts were qualified as Opportunity Zones in San Bernardino County. San Bernardino County Economic Development Department took a programmatic approach to community engagement in order to curate Opportunity Zone support tools and program. Given the geographic spread of Opportunity Zones and the business diversification within the selected zones, the County quickly realized that this economic development tool aligns with many County priorities including capital attraction into disadvantaged communities, and a match in product type (patient capital). The County collaborated with the University of California, Riverside, FUSE Corps, and Accelerator for America to attract an individual who could serve as ‘project manager’ and ‘deal jockey’ as part of a structured Executive Fellowship placement inside of the Economic Development Department (ED). Upon commencement, the County paired the Executive Fellow with two Economic Development team members to support him in program creation, analysis, and execution. This resulted in 15 city opportunity zone prospectuses completed, supporting several Opportunity Zone investors with due diligence, and a diversified deal pipeline that covers a variety of product types.

Richard Vaughn
Economic Development Coordinator