WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) recently co-sponsored a bipartisan, bicameral bill that encourages investors to direct capital toward startups, small businesses, real estate, infrastructure and other assets in economically distressed communities.

The Investing in Opportunity Act (IIOA) was introduced by U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) in May to remove barriers to investment through temporary deferral of capital gains taxes for investments made in Opportunity Zones. Opportunity Zones are low income areas that would be designated by governors within their states. During the first five years of the economic recovery, West Virginia lost 3.4 percent or 1,320 of its businesses. During this period, West Virginia has seen establishment growth in only about 11 percent of its counties, compared to 49 percent of counties during the 1990s recession.

“It is no secret that our coal communities in West Virginia have experienced tremendous job loss in recent years, causing economic distress across the state,” said Senator Capito. “Solutions like the Investing in Opportunity Act can help spur growth in these communities and provide the boost our state needs. The unequal nature of this ‘economic recovery’ has left states like West Virginia behind, and now is the time to change course by promoting new investments and opportunities.”

Senator Capito introduced a similar bill last week known as the Creating Opportunities for Rural Economies (CORE) Act, which encourages investments in underserved communities through the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program.