CHARLESTON, SC—Opportunity zones are a new investment tool that allow investors to invest capital gains into community improvement projects in distressed areas. Womble Bond Dickinson economic development attorney Stephanie Yarbrough is working closely with clients on opportunity zone investments and recently, she both wrote an article for and contributed a video interview on the subject to Area Development.

“You take those capital gains, within 180 days of realizing those gains, and put them into an opportunity zone fund and the fund is the vehicle that makes the investments in the opportunity zone,” Yarbrough explained to Area Development. The governors of all 50 states have designated opportunity zones in low-income and rural areas.

The benefits of opportunity zone investments include:

  • Deferral of taxes, until the investor removes the money from the opportunity zone fund;
  • Tax reductions, of 10-15 percent if certain requirements are met; and
  • Tax-free capital gains.

Yarbrough also said the opportunity zone legislation greatly simplified the administrative burdens of this type of investment, plus it allows investors tremendous flexibility.

“Community officials and economic developers should use this amazing opportunity to get crafty and innovative to attract the best mix of projects and capital to revitalize their previously distressed communities,” Yarbrough writes in Area Development.

Click here to read “Opportunity Zones Can Uplift Communities and Investors Alike” by Stephanie Yarbrough in Area Development.

Also, click here to watch a video of Stephanie Yarbrough discussing opportunity zones with Area Development.

Stephanie Yarbrough has played a role in many of South Carolina’s largest economic development deals of the past 20 years. She works closely with companies seeking to expand or relocate operations to the Carolinas and the Southeastern United States. Her efforts on behalf of clients have led to the creation of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in new investments. When the New York Times profiled Charleston’s economic boom in 2017, Yarbrough was one of the local leaders the Times turned to for insight.