The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) encourages investment and development in low income communities by offering tax credits to investors who make equity investments in specialized investment vehicles referred to as Community Development Entities (CDEs). Investors can claim a 39% credit (of equity invested) over a 7-year period. The NMTC program has helped create 178 million sq. ft. of commercial space and has financed more than 5,000 businesses. In comparison, the Opportunity Zones program allows investors to defer or reduce their capital gains taxes by investing in an Opportunity Fund, a specialized investment vehicle that has invested 90% of its assets into a Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ), one of 8,700 low-income census tracts througout the U.S.