The Prime Growth Framework for

Opportunity
Zones

State & Local Agencies

Powerful datasets and strategic insight to help state & local agencies maintain a high-level view of investable small businesses in their Opportunity Zones.
 
Enhance your use of data & evidence to create more complete, current and competitive Opportunity Zone asset maps, and direct capital to small businesses often overlooked by traditional investors and lenders.
 
 


 
 

Overview

Key Features

1. Prime Growth Classification
2. Sector Monitoring
3. The Prime Growth Briefing
4. Growth Priorities
5. Impact Insights

 
 


 
 

Defining investable small businesses

Based on existing guidance from the IRS and Treasury and our concept of Prime Growth Classification, we define an investable small business1 as:
 
a) A new, seed stage independent2 currently planning their launch, that will be an employer firm3 with a commercial location4 within an Opportunity Zone.
 
b) An existing, expansion stage small chain5 that is currently planning to add an establishment within an Opportunity Zone.
 
c) An independent or small chain currently planning to relocate their firm, or an establishment, to a commercial location within an Opportunity Zone.
 
The businesses can be in any industry, other than a few “sin businesses”6 excluded from the program.
 
The IRS and Treasury will be issuing further guidance on Opportunity Zone businesses shortly, and if necessary we will update our methodology to reflect any changes.
 

1. A small business is defined as an independent or small chain.
2. Independent is defined as a single establishment (location) firm with less than 500 employees. It’s important to note that while we include firms with up to 500 employees, nearly all (98%) of small businesses have less than 100 employees, and 96% have less than 50.
3. Employer firm is defined as a firm with employees beyond the owner.
4. Commercial location is defined as a place of business that is not a residence.
5. Small chain is defined as a firm with between 2-20 establishments.
6. “Sin businesses” are defined by §144(c)(6)(B) as a private or commercial golf course, country club, massage parlor, hot tub facility, suntan facility, racetrack or other facility used for gambling, or any store the principal business of which is the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises.

 
 


 
 

Using Prime Growth Classification

Prime Growth Classification is a growth-based classification standard for the small business sector, developed by SMB Intelligence in 2018.
 
Growth-based classification uses development stage, growth format and growth scale to categorize firms rather than traditional small business segmentation (such as revenues, company age, company size, and digital engagement).
 
The purpose of the standard is to identify current prime growth firms and segment them by their current growth priorities.
 
Prime growth firms are independents or small chains, that are employers, with a commercial location(s), currently at a seed (new, pre-opening) or expansion (high growth) development stage. In other words they fit our definition of an investable small business. When we can identify prime growth firms located in Opportunity Zones, we can identify investable small businesses.
 
 
 

Designated Opportunity Zones. Image from Economic Innovation Group

 
 

Continually monitor the small business sector to identify current prime growth firms

Sector Monitoring

SMB Intelligence uses proprietary open-source intelligence (OSINT) methods applied through a combination of machine analysis and human analytics.
 
We continually monitor over 30,000 real estate, editorial, public government data, social media and other sources to track planned growth activity in the small business sector.
 
We apply Prime Growth Classification to that dataset to identify & segment prime growth firms, and then aggregate additional data points to determine key characteristics including their current job creation status, contact details and digital engagement.
 
We then geocode each prime growth firm, assign a US Census tract, and use extensive public government data to determine the current socioeconomic status of the community each firm is located in.
 

Why this matters

Which firms are currently considered prime growth continually changes, as the sector churns with new firms entering, failed firms exiting and surviving firms moving through development stages.

 
 


 
 

Maintain a current view of prime growth small businesses relevant to your Opportunity Zones

The Prime Growth Briefing

Published every two weeks, The Prime Growth Briefing is a powerful dataset that identifies current prime growth firms located in your Opportunity Zones, as well as current expansion stage small chains outside designated zones, that could potentially add establishments within Opportunity Zones in the near future.
 
View the available data points in the Briefing.
 

Why this matters

Traditional small business datasets and segmentation do not provide insight into prime growth firms or growth timing, as the key indicator is current development stage.
 
SMB Intelligence is the only organization to continually track the small business sector using growth-based classification and to identify prime growth firms.
 

Data validation

We take extensive steps to ensure the veracity of the data we provide, and to present it to clients in a transparent manner. Detailed methodology is available upon request.

 
 


 

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This map displays current prime growth firms located in Opportunity Zones (blue pinpoints), and current expansion stage small chains that could potentially add establishments in Opportunity Zones (grey pinpoints).
 
 


 
 

Prioritize firms based on their current growth priorities

The Prime Growth Briefing groups prime growth firms into eight segments based on their current growth priorities.
 
Growth priorities refer to the big picture context of an owner’s current growth plans – the format and scale of growth they are currently working to accomplish.
 

The eight segments:

 

Seed – New Firm

New, seed stage, pre-revenue, pre-opening firms currently planning to launch their firm.

Seed – Encore

New, seed stage, pre-revenue, pre-opening firms currently planning to launch their firm, with an owner who has previous entreprenuerial experience.

Seed – Funded

New, seed stage, pre-revenue, pre-opening firms currently planning to allocate recently raised funds to launch their firm.

Expansion – Initial

Existing, expansion stage firms, currently planning to expand their single establishment firm into a small chain by adding a second establishment.

Expansion – Emerge

Existing, expansion stage, emerging small chains with 3-10 establishments, that are currently planning to expand by adding an establishment.

Expansion – Advance

Existing, expansion stage, advanced small chains with 11-20 establishments, that are currently planning to expand by adding an establishment.

Expansion – Velocity

Existing, expansion stage firms, that are currently planning rapid expansion by adding multiple new establishments at once.

Expansion – Relocate

Existing, expansion stage firms, that are currently planning to expand by relocating their firm or an establishment to a new location within an Opportunity Zone.
 
 

 
 


 
 

Increase your social impact

Social impact insights

The Prime Growth Briefing provides deep social impact insights enabling your agency to understand the socioeconomic details of each zone, and to identify prime growth firms with underserved owners.
 
View the available social impact data points in the Briefing.

 
 


 
 

Deliverables

The Prime Growth Framework for Opportunity Zones is a premium, subscription-based service. The service is built for fast deployment into your existing environment, there is nothing to add to your tech stack.
 

Datasets

The Prime Growth Briefing
The Briefing is published every two weeks and delivered in CSV format via email.
View the available data points.
 
Social Impact Insights
Delivered as data fields within the Prime Growth Briefing.
View the available data points.
 

Strategic insight

Prime Growth Classification User Guide
A guide to understanding how and why to use Prime Growth Classification, delivered in PDF format.

 
 


 
 

Pricing

Varied

 
Contact us to discuss how we can help your agency.