MapableUSA.com Podcast: The Economic Analysis on How Opportunity Zones were Qualified and Created
When most people talk about Opportunity Zones, they talk about the tax incentives the program provides for those facing capital gains taxes. Or they mention the Opportunity Zone funds that provide the actual investment into the real estate and redevelopment of distressed areas. But how did this program come to be in the first place? To answer that question, we interviewed Erin Gillespie of Madison Street Strategies who discussed how each particular zone was determined and how her unique background working for government entities provided her with the experience to help communities benefit and gain knowledge on how the opportunity zones program can enhance local communities.
Education is the key to really understanding how Opportunity Zones work and what they can provide to communities nationwide. In this podcast episode, Ms. Gillespie talks about how she is using that strategy of education and program awareness to help those in the state of Florida, both in rural and urban areas. The fact that she has been involved in the very beginning of the Opportunity Zones program allows her to bring a totally different perspective than most. And at Madison Street Strategies, she is leading the effort in supporting small businesses, investors, local communities and government entities with economic development, communications, policy development and advocacy needs. Her company also provides short-term and long-term disaster recovery for communities, connecting state and federal resources, along with private sector investments to help communities recover stronger than before.
ABOUT OUR GUEST: Erin Gillespie
Erin Gillespie founded Madison Street Strategies in 2018. She has almost two decades of experience in media and public relations, crisis management, communications and government affairs. Most recently, she served in executive management at the state agency leading Florida’s workforce, community and economic development, working with businesses and communities across the state to invest in a high-tech workforce, develop strong growth strategies and promote Florida’s economic success. Erin has extensive disaster recovery experience, leading statewide private sector recovery efforts after Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Michael. In her role with the state of Florida, she led the state’s selection of 427 Opportunity Zones and worked with communities to develop strategies to attract Opportunity Fund investment.