For more information about our Leadership, please contact:

Craig Richard
President & CEO

(813) 518-2620


In the spring of 2019, the Tampa Bay EDC hired TIP Strategies (TIP) to develop an organizational action plan for 2020-2022 with bold, focused, and amplified strategies to elevate and leverage the region’s assets.  The plan is structured around four core principles, which reflect the TBEDC’s primary focus areas and strengths, and three goals, which align the TBEDC’s priorities toward a set of initiatives that will move the region forward.


Thank you to our strategic plan steering committee:

Ron Barton, Assistant County Administrator
Hillsborough County

Michelle Bauer, COO
Tampa Bay EDC

Marie Chinnici-Everitt, Managing Director

Charles Hokanson, Senior Vice President
Helios Education Foundation

Bob McDonaugh, former Administrator of Economic Development
City of Tampa

Steve Morey, SVP, Business Development
Tampa Bay EDC

James Nozar, Strategic Advisor to the Board
Strategic Property Partners, LLC

Craig Richard, CEO and President
Tampa Bay EDC

Nancy Tower, former President and CEO
Tampa Electric | Peoples Gas

Ronald Vaughn, President
University of Tampa

David Weinstein, Tampa Office Managing Shareholder
Greenberg Traurig, P.A.

Jim Weiss, Regional President, Fifth Third Bank, N.A. (South Florida)
Fifth Third Bank

Nealy Wheat, CFO
Tampa Bay EDC

  • Areas highlighted are designated opportunity zones.
  • Use the search tool to see if your project is in a QOZ

Investors receive tax credits when they reinvest capital gains, or profits from the sale of an asset, into opportunity zones. Investors may benefit in three ways.

  1. They can defer paying taxes on the original capital gain until they dispose of the investment or until 2026.
  2. If they hold the investment for at least five years, they will have to pay 10% less taxes on the original capital gain.
  3. If they hold the investment for at least ten years, they will not have to pay any capital gains tax on their opportunity zone investment.

For example, an investor sells their company stock for $1 million and has $100,000 in capital gains from that sale. The investor puts the $100,000 into an opportunity zone fund (“QOF”) that invests in a new business in an opportunity zone.

The investor can defer paying capital gains tax until they have disposed of the opportunity zone investment or December 31, 2026, whichever comes first.

If they hold the investment for five years, they can reduce the deferred capital gains tax owed on the original gain by 10%. This would mean that only $90,000 of the $100,000 gain is taxable. Assuming a 20% capital gains tax, they would owe $18,000 instead of $20,000.

If they continue to hold the opportunity zone investment for another five years, they will not have to pay any capital gains tax on that investment. If their $100,000 opportunity zone investment appreciates 100% over 10 years, they owe $0 in capital gains tax instead of $20,000. Investors can hold funds there until 2046 before needing to pay capital gains tax on the opportunity zone investment.


Businesses will need to meet these qualifications to take advantage of this program.

70% of the business’ tangible property needs to be:

  • acquired after 2017 from an unrelated party
  • used in any opportunity zone 70% or more of the time
  • original use property or be substantially improved

A business needs to:

  • get 50% of its revenue from active conduct in any opportunity zone
  • use 40% or more of its intangible property in any opportunity zone
  • not hold non-qualified financial property beyond reasonable working capital
  • operate in eligible business sectors (ineligible activities include golf courses, country clubs, gambling establishments, and a few other specifically excluded types of business)

These qualifications are defined by Treasury regulations.  For more information, please consult with a tax advisor.

You will also need to consider whether you are:

  • willing to give up equity in your business
  • likely to grow significantly over the next 10 years
  • likely to remain in a qualified opportunity zone for the 10 years

Invest in the Tampa Bay Region

  • If you are looking for projects to invest in, visit the City of Tampa for an Opportunity Zones Prospectus. 
  • If you are looking for projects to invest in, visit the EDC Opportunity Zone Investor Portal

A Qualified Opportunity Fund specializes in attracting investors with similar risk and reward profiles to collect and place capital in rural and low-income urban communities.

Qualified Opportunity Funds:

  • need to be funded by private capital and guided by market principals
  • need to invest 90% of their assets in opportunity zone assets
  • may invest in opportunity zones via stock, partnership interests, or business property
  • need to use assets to create new business activity
  • need to double the investment basis over 30 months if investing in an existing business
  • can create new businesses or new real estate or infrastructure
  • may not invest in certain types of business like golf courses, country clubs, gambling establishments, and a few other specifically excluded types of business

If you have realized capital gains, you need to invest your gains within 180 days into a Qualified Opportunity Fund. The QOF then needs to place 90% of the funds into qualified opportunity zone property or business within six months.

Due to COVID-19, the following rules about opportunity zones and qualified opportunity funds are temporarily changed:

  • Qualified opportunity funds need to report 90% of funds steered into designated opportunity zone projects. These funds are now allowed to hold their funds until June 30, 2021.
  • Previously, developers and investors had 30 months to make improvements to their opportunity zone property to qualify for tax benefits. As of June of 2020, this deadline has been extended to 39 months, discounting April through December 2020 as a grace period.
  • Previously, investors had to invest capital gains within 180 days to be eligible for tax benefits. Investors now have until the end of December 2020 to qualify. After this period, the 180-day rule will apply as usual.

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