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National Director Henry Childs and Assistant Secretary Tom Gilman Attend Detroit Opportunity Zone Summit

(from left to right): Ja'Ron Smith, Deputy Assistant to the President, The White House; Henry Childs II, National Director for the Minority Business Development Agency; Tom Gilman, CFO and Assistant Secretary of Administration for the U.S. Department of Commerce; and Kevin Preskenis, Chief of Staff...


WASHINGTON, June 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, Henry Childs and Tom Gilman, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary of Administration for the U.S. Department of Commerce brought together local businesses and government leaders in Detroit, Michigan for the Detroit Opportunity Zone Summit.

Opportunity Zones were created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to stimulate job creation by incentivizing long-term investments in low-income neighborhoods. These incentives offer capital gains tax relief to investors for new investment in designated Opportunity Zones. They are anticipated to spur $100 billion in private capital investment.

During the Summit, CEOs, investors, fund managers, and minority entrepreneurs joined Director Childs and Assistant Secretary Gilman in a VIP panel to discuss how to further invest in Opportunity Zones.

"It is essential that there is inclusive economic growth in our communities. Minority-owned businesses have a personal stake in the revitalization of Opportunity Zones, of which a vast majority are in minority communities," said National Director Henry Childs. "MBDA wants to make sure minority business enterprises (MBEs) are developed. I can't think of a better use of Opportunity Zone funds than to invest in MBEs."

"In a region that is home to some of the country's largest minority-operated businesses, it was exciting to see a distinguished group of leaders across industry and government come together to advance this important initiative," said Assistant Secretary Gilman. "The panel discussion was a terrific example of how government and the private sector can work hand-in-hand on solutions that grow economic opportunity for cities like Detroit."

The Opportunity Zone Summit brought together minority business enterprises, corporate and institutional investors, and local experts to facilitate connections and investment in both rural and urban Opportunity Zones. Key topics discussed at the VIP panel included how the government can better assist Detroit organizations participate in Opportunity Zones.

About the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
MBDA is the only Federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority business enterprises through the mobilization and advancement of public and private sector programs, policy, and research. Our services better equip minority-owned firms to create jobs, build scale and capacity, increase revenues and expand regionally, nationally and internationally. In 2019, MBDA commemorates 50 years of economic empowerment through entrepreneurship and recommits to Winning the Future for all U.S. minority-owned businesses. For more information visit www.mbda.gov.

MBDA Media Contact Information:
Velicia D. Woods