The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), created in 1977, is a state agency that helps build strong, vibrant communities by supporting them on their journey toward growth and prosperity. The department lays the groundwork for economic opportunities and local development efforts in Georgia through safe and affordable housing, local government assistance, and community and economic development.

Cherie Bennett, economic development program manager at the Office of State Economic Development within the DCS, has provided information on the Gateway85 CID’s designated Opportunity Zone (OZ) and the associated benefits for businesses.

Gateway85 CID’s OZ is a designated area where local government redevelopment and revitalization efforts can qualify for the state’s maximum Job Tax Credit of $3,500 per job.

“This Job Tax Credit, available for new or existing businesses creating two or more jobs, plays a crucial role in attracting new businesses or encouraging existing ones to expand within the designated OZ,” said Bennett.

“The goal behind establishing an Opportunity Zone is to provide incentives for businesses to locate or expand operations within the designated area,” she continued. “The $3,500 job tax credit for each net new job created serves as a powerful incentive for businesses considering such moves.”

If an existing business located within the OZ wants to benefit from the zoning, it must create at least two new full-time jobs in a single tax year to be eligible for a $3,500 state tax credit for each new job. The credits can be applied against Georgia income tax liability and withholding tax for up to five years, with any excess credits usable against payroll withholding taxes.

If an existing business wants to establish operations in an OZ, businesses need to determine if a newly selected site for operations is located within the zone’s boundaries and create at least two net, new full-time jobs. To do this, the business must coordinate with the Local Opportunity Zone Manager, Shantell Wilson, who assists in determining eligibility and provides the necessary certifications.

Learn more about the DCA’s programs through the FY2024 Guide to Services or the official website at

View the Official Opportunity Zone map for Gateway85 CID here.