Investment is a two-way street that can have a positive impact on both investors and community residents, said Dianne Cleaver.
A new gathering — the June 26-27 We Grow KC Opportunity Zones Investor Summit — aims to bridge the potential divide between such neighbors with the back of Cleaver’s Urban Neighborhoods Initiative, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and other key stakeholders.
“We are trying to attract investors that are not only looking to get a return on their investment but also make a social impact and uplift the community,” she said.
Click here for tickets to We Grow KC.
The summit is expected to draw local, regional and national investors to connect with entrepreneurs, policy makers and community builders and showcase the city’s Opportunity Zones, which are ripe for investment. Summit organizers plan to offer bus tours of the Opportunity Zones to investors to physically experience the community.
Areas of Kansas City were previously divided into 32 geographical clusters called Opportunity Zones, based on recommendations by the Missouri governor. The zones typically encompass low-income neighborhoods that offer a bounty of opportunities for reinvestment of capital gains.
Zones are categorized into five broad categories; Central City, Paseo Gateway/Northwest, Blue River Valley, Swope Park, and Martin City — all areas where economic development has already kick-started, but needs to be carried through with the support of investment, Cleaver said.
The June 26-27 We Grow KC event embodies the spirit of upward economic mobility of residential communities in Opportunity zones, which resonates with her organization’s mission to reduce intergenerational poverty and build healthy urban neighborhoods, Cleaver said.
“We hope to get people interested in seeing the positive possibilities of investing in these areas and possibly give information that they hadn’t looked at before,” Cleaver said.
We Grow KC’s goal is to help investors from across the country get acquainted with the city and realize the community’s needs, said Joe Reardon, president of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
“We want to make sure that the investment that is done is investment that empowers the existing neighborhood and the people that live there,” Reardon said.
This story was produced through a a collaboration between Missouri Business Alert and Startland News.