Skip to main content

Background Image for Header: West Virginia scenery

Invest Forward


WV Forward and partners are investing forward, focused on advancing the economic outcomes of cities and regions across West Virginia. By developing an economic atlas that provides the tools and resources to churn out both immediate results and long-term solutions to create jobs, businesses, investment and development opportunities, we can find systemic change that diversifies and strengthens the economy statewide. 

The Opportunity Zones program is one tool in our atlas that aims to spur long-term investment, economic growth and new businesses in low-income urban and rural communities. The program does this by offering ways for Opportunity Zone Funds to deploy a new source of capital into the areas that need it most.
Opportunity Zones panel discussion

why invest forward?

What are Opportunity Zones?

Designated WV Opportunity Zones

Overseen by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Opportunity Zones program offers tax incentives in designated areas across each state to foster economic revitalization, long-term investment and job growth in distressed communities.

  • For investors, this program helps defer, and ultimately decrease, tax liability on capital gains if those gains are deployed into designated Opportunity Zones. The longer timeframe of the investment, the bigger the incentives.
  • For property owners, developers, high-tech researchers and startups, this program offers potential access to trillions of investment dollars that can be deployed across state lines in any qualified community’s Opportunity Zone project. 

Partnering to Invest Forward

WV Forward, the Office of U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, the WV Department of Commerce, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation are partnering to provide information on how to accelerate projects within designated West Virginia Opportunity Zones.

We encourage investors, lenders, developers, property owners, entrepreneurs, business owners, lawyers, accountants, researchers, startups and community and economic development professionals to work together to drive investments, jobs and economic growth in West Virginia communities.

WV Forward in action


An economic atlas to drive investment, growth 

Invest Forward partners are organizing, tracking and sharing the latest news and information on establishing incentives for economic development across West Virginia.

As state and local officials consider how programs like Opportunity Zones can benefit their communities, WV Forward is focused on creating an economic atlas of tools, resources, information and West Virginia assets that can be used together to create, grow and expand businesses and local economies.


Stacking resources to unleash full economic potential

WV Forward and partners are sharing information on what stackable options are available to help ensure West Virginia communities can unleash their full potential. 

For example, the White House Council on Opportunity and Revitalization is looking for incentives to align federal resources, including grants and favorable tax treatment, to increase economic activity in targeted areas.  

Stay tuned for further details to be announced that will be relevant to businesses, non-profits and communities across the state.

A West Virginia native who attended a WV Forward discussion on Opportunity zones: 
“I’ve worked in the policy and think tank space and I’m impressed with the thoughtful and actionable nature of this collaboration. An effort like this could easily suffer from just merely being words on paper, but I’ve been following WV Forward and see how it is tangibly driving the ball forward.”


Mary Hunt

Mary Hunt

- Benedum Foundation

“Our communities need to unlock capital for cultivating resilience and development. Working together, we can understand how best to use the new Opportunity Zones program along with other tools to grow and sustain healthy local economies.”

Josh Cook

Josh Cook

- WV Forward

“Economic diversification and capital formation are key pieces of WV Forward’s blueprint for prosperity. By understanding and sharing the characteristics of West Virginia’s designated Opportunity Zones and the deal structures this program facilitates, WV Forward can help the state achieve maximum economic and community development impact.”

Senator Shelley Capito

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito

- United States Senate

"Opportunity Zones have the potential to help transform communities throughout West Virginia, and are yet another way tax reform is going to help West Virginians create jobs, drive economic growth, and attract investment in the areas that need it most.”

Jeanne Milliken Bonds

Jeanne Milliken Bonds

- Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

"The Community Development function in the Federal Reserve is focused on access to credit and economic growth in low-income and underserved communities. It is important to have business and property owners in the same room with investors and local government to listen and plan how Opportunity Zone investment can be made with synergy and balance to help meet community needs."

Wes White

Wes White

- West Virginia Department of Commerce

Opportunity Zones have the potential to be a real game changer in West Virginia by creating a private incentive to create new businesses and jobs. With our combined commitment, we will move West Virginia in the right direction."

Additional Resources

On the heels of the U.S. Department of the Treasury issuing its second set of proposed regulations related to Opportunity Zones, which helps clarify business opportunities, WV Forward and partners offer the resources below to provide insight into how this program can help create greater prosperity in communities across West Virginia.

Be part of something bigger.

We want to hear from you. Share your ideas. Stay informed. Help us move West Virginia Forward.

WVU logo West Virginia Seal Marshall University logo

Contact Us

*Citations available upon request.