Horry County launches Opportunity Zones website

Horry County Government officials, in partnership with leaders from the City of Myrtle Beach, the City of Conway, Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, announce the launch of the new Grand Strand Opportunity Zones website: The site is designed to promote targeted local communities within Horry County to potential investors and developers.

Congress established the Opportunity Zone program nationwide as a part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The primary goal of the program is to encourage long-term private investments in low-income communities, thereby encouraging job creation and economic growth. The program provides a federal tax incentive for taxpayers who reinvest unrealized capital gains into “Opportunity Funds,” specialized vehicles dedicated to investing in low-income areas called “Opportunity Zones.” Up to 15% of capital gains liability can be exempted if a qualifying investment is held in an opportunity fund for 7 years. Additionally, no capital gains tax would be due on the appreciation of the investment after 10 years.  

The zones themselves are comprised of low-income census tracts and designated by governors in every state. South Carolina designated 25 percent of its 538 qualifying census tracts as Opportunity Zones. The website highlights the 6 selected opportunity zones in Myrtle Beach, Conway, Loris, and Aynor. The webpage for each zone includes information on the area and key data points on population, income, retail sales, and homeownership. In addition, the website includes information on local resources like transportation, education, and utilities, connecting prospective businesses with the tools they need to understand the potential for development in these areas. “When we help grow business in these areas, it helps everyone. Investment in these zones will help us revitalize neighborhoods and improve the area for residents and visitors,” said City of Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune. Each area profile also includes potential areas for investment where local leaders have identified opportunities for growth. Excitement is growing for the potential benefits of the program, as voiced by local civic leaders.