“Create, Retain and Reinvest Wealth”
Columbia Empowerment Zone was originally part of a US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program to create public-private partnerships providing incentive and opportunity to business in underserved communities. In April 2008 it became Columbia Empowerment Zone, Inc. (CEZ, Inc.), a non-profit corporation. Today, CEZ, Inc. promotes job creation by providing opportunities for small businesses and by building public-private partnerships that generate private investment, thereby lessening the burden of local government.
Being a catalyst for urban revitalization is a critical activity for CEZ, Inc. Our core operating strategy to realizing the long-term potential of City real estate, especially inner City real estate. We consider our assets to be extraordinary partnership opportunities and we utilize these and other opportunities in as many economically viable and productive ways as possible to development the community we serve.
As a non-profit entity, however, CEZ, Inc. is always mindful that the organization must generate economic returns to support the substantial financial investment in these facilities; and to sustain community development activities that focus on job creation and community sustainability.
Thus CEZ, Inc. staff and board members take pride in being able to spur economic development by assisting small businesses who bring jobs to the community. We see our investment on North Main Street, Sunset Blvd., Harden Street, Lady Street and Farrow Road as a great opportunity for the community to partner and help cultivate varied economic growth.