To help jobless areas, SC gov., state leaders establish opportunity zones

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - To spur new jobs and business in impoverished places throughout South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster announced areas designated as Opportunity Zones.

It is a federal program that gets extra incentives to companies who open shop in these areas and revitalize them. 
Leaders made the announcement in Fairfield County- where last summer, the V.C. Summer nuclear reactors project shutdown and people and jobs vacated the area.

There will be 135 Opportunity Zones in the state, at least one in each of the 46 counties, McMaster says.

"This gives us the extra punch, the extra opportunity, that will transform economic growth and development and usher in one more tool to usher in a new era of prosperity in South Carolina," Gov. Henry McMaster said.

The Department of Commerce says there are companies lined-up to do business. McMaster expects the federal Department of Treasury to approve the zones in the next 30 days or less.

Opportunity Zones expected to come to South Carolina's impoverished counties in need of business and jobs. This is part of the tax reform Congress passed in December.

When communities are classified as Opportunity Zones, more tax cuts are offered to businesses who come into low-income areas and open shop- and jobs.

The announcement that Governor Henry McMaster has applied for that incentive for 135 areas was made in Fairfield County. That's where the nuclear reactors were abandoned at V.C. Summer.

"When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion. It's an old Ethiopian proverb but it describes what's happening today in South Carolina and here in Fairfield County. We've got some lions across this state, Governor, do we not? We've got some lions right here in Fairfield County," Sen. Mike Fanning (D-Fairfield) said. "Our Mack truck plant closing, an oldest, biggest facility in the state. Walmart coming in and shutting our small businesses down then leaving us high and dry, and in the V.C. Summer the SCANA fiasco that has abandoned this county."
 
McMaster expects the federal Department of Treasury to approve the zones in the next 30 days or less.

The Department of Commerce says there are companies lined-up to do business.

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