Seven county zones approved for new economic development program

Source: The Imperial Valley Press

Due to the high unemployment rate and the low average household income, Imperial County has no shortage of eligible areas to be designated opportunity zones.

The county wasted little time sending a request to the governor to include specific areas in the Valley such as Calexico, Brawley, Holtville and the Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area under the program.

“It was essential for us to jump on this chance to ensure our area was equitably represented in these designations and able to wield this resource. This tool will increase our region’s ability to enable redevelopment, spur economic growth, and create new avenues for affordable housing in our district’s most vulnerable communities,” Assemblyman Garcia said in a statement.

The state of California currently has more than 2,000 eligible low-income community census tracts, which could allow the state to nominate as many as 500. County officials hope the new economic tool can help their efforts to spur development within some of the Valley’s disadvantaged communities.