There has been plenty of debate on the merits of the Opportunity Zones program, much of it based on assumption and speculation. To combat a lot of the unfounded rhetoric around OZ, JTC Americas and OpportunityDb have conducted a thorough survey of Opportunity Zones stakeholders, the results of which are being released this month.

To help us better understand the survey data, JTC Americas is hosting a webinar, “Getting Impact Right: A New Strategy for Opportunity Zones,” which will take place on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM ET. 

The survey

JTC’s Opportunity Zones survey was conducted from December 2021 to February 2022, and included investors, developers, brokers, fund managers, bankers, advisers, and other relevant stakeholders from across the country.

Importantly, it was not just among OZ investors and fund managers, but also included non-investors – those who had yet to consider investing in an OZ fund – as well as aspirational investors – those who have considered investing in an OZ fund but have not yet done so.

Having broad demographics ensured the data covered the complete spectrum of stakeholders, meaning the results can help us understand why some people invest in OZs while others don’t, and what the perception of the program actually is among the investing public. Those of us in the industry can sometimes exist in a bubble where we think everyone understands Opportunity Zones, and the survey results will show us what we’re getting wrong.

Who are OZ investors?

An important thing this survey can accomplish is to break the stereotypes of OZ investors. Because of a lot of negative press surrounding the program, the public may have an image of those who invest in OZ as incredibly wealthy individuals looking to escape taxes who don’t actually care about helping underserved communities. If they don’t see themselves as part of this group, they may think there’s no reason for them to pursue an OZ investment.

But what does the survey data tell us about those who choose to invest and why they do so? Where do OZ investors come from? How much are they investing? Why did they choose OZ, and how to they feel about those investments at this point?

And to battle the biggest misconceptions around OZ, we’re tackling the big questions head-on: what is more important to OZ investors, ROI or impact? Are OZ tax incentives attracting capital to areas that wouldn’t otherwise get it? And what to do potential OZ investors see as most important, tax incentives or social impact? These are all questions that to this point have lacked concrete data, but that can now be addressed.

Making OZ better

Beyond understanding how investors and potential investors view the Opportunity Zones initiative, the survey results can help us understand what investors and fund managers feel is missing from OZ, and exactly why some have been hesitant to get involved. What are the difficulties fund managers say they face in attracting capital?

It’s long been assumed that changes are afoot for the Opportunity Zones program, specifically in the area of impact reporting. Just what those changes might look like and how they could affect the behavior of fund managers and investors remain to be seen, and this data may help us understand the best way forward to ensure the success of the program in the future.

The webinar

In order to sift through this exciting new data and understand what conclusions can be drawn from it, JTC has assembled a group of industry experts to analyze and discuss the results of our OZ survey.

At the March 16th webinar, our panel of experts will dive deep into the survey data and what it can tell us about the future of the program. They’ll discuss the issue of quantifying impact, how the OZ program can be improved, and why investors don’t necessarily think of Opportunity Zones when they think about Impact (and how to solve this problem).

We hope you’ll join us as we take a look at this never-before-seen information. Whether you’re an OZ investor, fund manager, community stakeholder, or have ever considered getting involved, this can help you better understand OZ and why funds with a proper understanding of impact are positioned for success in the future.

JTC Americas has been the leader in Opportunity Zones fund administration since the program’s inception. Our award-winning eSTAC technology platform provides real-time impact reporting along with 24/7 access to key documents, and we’ve pioneered methods for measuring and reporting on social impact.

We created this survey with OpportunityDb because there was a need for accurate data on OZ funds and the people investing in them. We’re excited to share the results and hear from the best minds in the industry about how this information can help our clients.

Join us for this FREE webinar:

Getting Impact Right: A New Strategy for Opportunity Zones
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET