LAWRENCEVILLE — A handful of moves by commissioners this week has created even more opportunity for jobs in Gwinnett.
During Tuesday’s hearing, commissioners approved the fourth opportunity zone in unincorporated Gwinnett, which allows for tax breaks for companies that add jobs.
The new designation, which encompasses 144 commercial properties along Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Oakbrook Parkway on the south side of Interstate 85, is adjacent to the first zone designated in the county.
Bryan Lackey, the director of Gwinnett’s department of planning and development said businesses considering a move to Gwinnett often ask first where opportunity zones are located, as it opens the company up to a $3,500 tax credit per job, if two or more are added. That credit also applies to existing businesses that add two or more jobs.
“It’s become one of our best tools to use both to relocate businesses and to help our existing businesses expand,” Lackey said.
While the county does not keep statistics on the number of jobs added in its opportunity zones, Lackey described two specific examples of job creation in those areas. Those include the 2011 relocation of Bagcraft Papercon, which brought 196 jobs to the unincorporated Norcross area, as well as the relocation of National DCP, which brought 125 jobs to the Gwinnett Place area last year.
Commissioners also approved the designation of three areas as “Less Developed Census Tracts,” which also allows for the tax credit. The designation makes the area eligible for one year, as opposed to the opportunity zone’s five-year term.
The tracts approved include an area near Peachtree Corners, one south of Duluth and one south of Suwanee.