Vice President Mike Pence, Senator Tim Scott visit Columbia, talk Opportunity Zones in the State

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)– Vice President Mike Pence talked about faith and community growth while he was in Columbia. Pence joined Senator Tim Scott to tour an opportunity zone here in the state.

Opportunity Zones will soon be all across the state and the country thanks to Senator Tim Scott. Vice President Pence said this community, this state, and the nation are in his debt.

“After 11 years of abandonment the Capital 8 theater is a reality and it’s creating jobs, and opportunity, and energy in this growing community,” Vice President Pence said.

Spotlight Cinema opened their doors and is now showing how business can thrive in communities deemed distressed and struggling.

“This transformational idea of Opportunity Zones. It’s all about making sure that as the American Economy expands it expands for every American. And that’s exactly what we’ve done here,” Vice President Pence said.

Senator Tim Scott championed the initiative during the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act where investors receive federal tax incentives to open in underprivileged communities. This provides jobs, economic growth, and opportunity.

“It’s not just an investment. It’s someone who has a heart for bringing back life to areas that has potential that’s been overlooked,” Bishop Eric Freeman said.

Bishop Freeman says the new developments are perfect for creating jobs for students in the community, training opportunities for tradesmen, a safeplace for the community.

“Our parishioners are ecstatic because this is a fulfillment of a vision we’ve been working on for 20 years,” Freeman said.

The visit from Vice President Pence and Senator Scott highlights The Meeting Place church’s mission to invest in the people and places that need revitalization.

“And now what you see here is a signature moment, not a culminating moment, a signature moment that we’re going in the right direction,” Freeman said.

Governor Henry McMaster says he wants there to be at least one opportunity zone in the each county and hopes to get a total of 135 Opportunity Zones in the state.