According to Forbes Magazine Metric, Erie is one of the top cities in the nation for downtown revitalization.
The Forbes Magazine Award recognizes Erie’s Flagship Opportunity Zone as a market leader for taking advantage of that federal program. It’s really the Flagship Opportunity Zone development company partnering with the Erie Downtown Development Group earning officers of both programs a trip to Salt Lake City to accept the award.
The Erie program is one of the top four according to Forbes to use the federal opportunity zone program to give tax breaks to encourage investment, especially in lower income neighborhoods.
From the very start I think there was recognition that this tax incentive, this new tool was really tailor made for cities like Erie and we were able to bring to the table leaders and stake holders from the private and public sectors,” said Brett Wiler, Flagship Opportunity Zone Development Company.
Wiler says the award shows that Erie is an investment ready community and that they have tried to showcase projects that will drive both an economical return and to the region, but equally as important drive positive social change.
Officials tell us that this is great news for business in the downtown area.
John Buchna with the Erie Downtown Partnership says the award is not just a great honor for the city.
“Realistically for all those projects that are within those opportunity zones, it really does give this a shot in the arm to attract that much needed investment which is what this tool is about, bringing investment into Erie,” said Buchna.
Other cities to make the Forbes Top 20 List include Baltimore, Philadelphia and Kansas City.