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Crawford County's "Opportunity Zones" Could Be Opportunities for - KOAM TV 7

Crawford County's "Opportunity Zones" Could Be Opportunities for Arma Residents

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ARMA, KANSAS -

"I think it would be great because then we don't have to go that far away. Especially if we run out of something pretty immediate like tomatoes and onions, Something that a 20 minute drive and then back 40 minutes..it's not really worth it"

There  isn't a grocery store to get ingredients from in a hurry, since there are no grocery stores in Arma, the home of Faith's family restaurant, Hot Rods Grill. 
But that could soon change since Arma is now an "opportunity zone." 

"People are able to take their capital gains and reinvest them into an opportunity zone fund. And if they leave it for 10 years, they're not paying any taxes on those capital gains. So it's a great incentive for people that are making that kind of money to have some tax breaks" says Lissa Rhodes, the Economic Development coordinator for Arma.

Arma would use its investment to be able to feed their town, and some neighbors.

"Put in a grocery store in Arma as a distribution center, and being able to use that distribution center to supply smaller grocery stores in smaller outlining communities"

A grocer has to contract 100,000 dollars worth of stock from Associated Grocers, which is difficult for small towns like Arma with a population of around 1,400 people, but with this plan, they would distribute to some of their smaller stores in Mulberry and Arcadia, making it easier to sign those kinds of contracts.

It would also make it safer for Arma residents without cars.

"Walking, on bicycles, on power wheelchairs, they're going on 69 Highway, and on the latest KDOT count, there was an average of 700 cars on that highway per hour"

As well as opening opportunities for other local businesses.

"It would keep all the businesses local, and maybe more businesses would be able to Arma since they could get the supplies they need in a timely manner" says Faith.

The town's economic development coordinator also sees this as increasing job opportunities in the Arma.

There's no set time for when they will see the benefits, or exactly how much they will receive.

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