Announced in last year’s State of the Union Address, the Promise Zone Initiative is part of President Obama’s plan to comprehensively revitalize distressed communities by partnering with local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, reduce poverty, expand educational opportunities, increase access to quality, affordable housing and improve public safety.
The first five Zones are located in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The City of San Antonio applied for the Eastside Promise Zone in November 2013. On January 9, 2014, the City was selected as one of the first five Promise Zones.
The Eastside Promise Zone (EPZ) is an initiative of the City of San Antonio, in partnership with the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, the San Antonio Housing Authority, San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside (SAGE) and SA2020. Support partners include San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD), Judson Independent School District, St. Philip’s College and private sector businesses, employers and investors. The application required that the existing Promise or Choice Neighborhood Initiative be included in its entirety and form the basis for the Promise Zone.
Due to this designation, the City, its partners and businesses who invest in the EPZ will be eligible for the following:
- Specialized technical assistance on federal grant applications to cut red tape from the grant application process,
- Preference points on subsequent federal grant applications, and
- Employer tax incentives/credits for hiring and creating jobs in the zone (pending Congressional approval). Enactment of federal tax credits will stimulate the job creation and business development that is essential to the full realization of the Eastside Promise Zone.
Promise Zone Application