County officials excited about large 'opportunity zone'

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Officials in one area county are hopeful that a recent designation will provide a perfect opportunity for businesses to flourish.

About one-third of Jackson County was recently suggested for designation as an opportunity zone by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

It's one of the largest zones for a single county that was selected in the state and local officials hope it will drive more industry their way.

The opportunity is there, a local economic development official said.

"It's a pretty big deal for us," Director of the Newport Economic Development Commission Jon Chadwell said.

The governor made the recommendations at the end of April.

The designation, once approved at the federal level, offers tax incentives for companies to invest in the low-income areas.

Chadwell said the census tract that Hutchinson nominated in Jackson County was their first choice.

"We're really excited about the area because it covers our mega industrial site, it covers most of our industrial properties, it covers a good portion of our existing industries," Chadwell said. "So it covers an area where we know investment will happen."

While this is just another tool to promote economic development in and around Newport, Chadwell said it is a big tool.

The United States Treasury Department is expected to accept and designate the selected zones before the end of May.

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