Technical Assistance

Intro Opportunity Zones Finance WebCourse
September 24-25, 2019
12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern


Opportunity Zones, a federal economic development tool that provides tax incentives for investments in low income communities, is one of the most exciting and catalytic development finance tools in decades. However, just having an Opportunity Zone in your community may not be enough to draw in investments from Opportunity Funds. Tool utilization is complex, complicated, and requires a deep level of understanding. Those communities and practitioners with the greatest understanding of key strategies and deployment mechanisms will feel the biggest impact from this creative financing program.

The CDFA Intro Opportunity Zones Finance WebCourse will bring together program designers, fund managers, communities, investors, and policy experts to educate and review the most up-to-date thinking and strategies on how to maximize Opportunity Zone designations and how best to attract zone investments. This interactive webcourse will help communities bring all economic development stakeholders to the table, and have a firm understanding of how the development finance toolbox can both encourage and supplement Opportunity Fund investments.

This course qualifies for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.

Course Objectives

· Learn the basics of Opportunity Zones

· Understand the many players in the Opportunity Zone industry

· Interact with fund managers and investors

· Discuss best practice principles for Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds

· Learn how to identify funders and how to market zones

· Discuss how Opportunity Zones could fund community revitalization

· Examine best practices

· Create networks and project nexus for potential future investment

Topics Covered

· Basics of Opportunity Zones

· Attracting investment

· Engaging stakeholders and the community

· Rural and urban Opportunity Zone approaches

· Opportunity Zone impact investing

· Community, zone, and investment case studies

· When and where Opportunity Funds invest

· Fund managers perspectives on zone investment

· State Opportunity Zone approaches

· Debt financing mechanisms to support fund investment

· Much more

Who Should Attend?

· Economic development professionals

· Community development professionals

· Real estate developers

· Investors and fund managers

· Non-profit leaders

· Elected officials

· Legal counsel

· Policy makers

· Accountants and tax professionals

· Commercial bankers

· Financial advisors

Course Advisor

Ira Weinstein Ira Weinstein
CohnReznick LLP
Office Managing Principal
Ira Weinstein serves as Co-Managing Principal of CohnReznick's Baltimore office. He is focused on transaction advisory and finance services for projects utilizing the New Markets Tax Credit, historic rehabilitation tax credit, investment tax credit,... (More)


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Tue 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Welcome & Overview
Welcome participants, introduce CDFA, and set the stage for the course.
Tue 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Fundamentals of Opportunity Zones
In this first session, course attendees will learn the basics of the Opportunity Zones incentive. Topics to be discussed include a breakdown of where OZs are located, the tax benefits to investors, and the types of investments that are eligible for tax benefits.
Tue 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Partnerships, Asset Mapping, and Building a Prospectus
Although the OZ incentive is a market-based tool, communities have an important role to play in connecting projects with potential investors. Attendees will learn strategies for building community partnerships, designing a comprehensive asset map, and marketing local OZs through the creation of an investment prospectus.
Tue 3:15 PM - 3:30 PM
Tue 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Leveraging OZ Projects Through Development Finance
Project developers and business owners will consider locating a new venture in an Opportunity Zone because of possible tax benefits that improve chances of finding an equity partner. However, the inclusion of additional equity in a project does not eliminate the need for debt financing. In this session, attendees will learn how traditional development finance tools can be used to support projects in OZs.
Tue 5:00 PM

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Wed 12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Revisiting Day 1
Wed 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM
Fundamentals of Opportunity Funds
Opportunity Funds are the mechanism through which equity investments are made into OZs, and are the only vehicle through which OZ tax benefits may flow to investors. In this session, attendees will learn the basics of Opportunity Funds, as well as the various factors prospective fund managers must consider prior to establishing an Opportunity Fund.
Wed 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
What Opportunity Funds Want
Opportunity Funds have been established to invest in dozens of project-types and commercial sectors including: real estate, business start-ups, and energy infrastructure, but what influences Fund decision-making? In this session, attendees will learn about the economic and social factors that drive Opportunity Fund investments, and gain insight into how to structure projects and incentives that will attract the right Opportunity Fund.
Wed 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Wed 2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
Incentivizing Investment Transparency
The legal framework and subsequent federal regulations that govern the OZ incentive require very little information from OZ Funds, which limits the ability of state and local governments to assess the impact of the incentive on local economies. Nevertheless, state and local governments have tools at their disposal that can encourage OZ investment transparency. In this session, attendees will learn from speakers how to utilize local incentives in a manner that encourages OZ investment transparency.
Wed 4:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Case Studies
Although the marketplace is still maturing, there are numerous OZ projects that are moving forward around the country. In this session, attendees will learn through usage of actual OZ case studies the types of projects that are possible.
Wed 5:00 PM


The Intro Opportunity Zones WebCourse will take place on the web through GoToWebinar, an online distance learning software. The course will meet each day on September 24-25, 2019 from 12:00-5:00 pm (Eastern). You must have access to a computer and phone to attend the WebCourse.


This course qualifies for the CDFA Training Institute's Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) Program. Start down the road to personal and professional advancement today.

CDFA permits only one person to login and participate in the course. If multiple people are accessing the course without paying to attend, we will terminate the connection and access to GoToWebinar. CDFA offers group discounts for organizations that wish to register multiple people.

Register before August 30, 2019 for Early-Bird Rates.
Early Bird Rates
(Ends August 30)
CDFA Member: $550
Non-Member: $825
Standard Rates
(After August 30)
CDFA Member: $600
Non-Member: $875