Koh Supports Haverhill Small Businesses, Celebrates ‘Opportunity Zone’ Status

3rd District congressional hopeful Dan Koh met with Haverhill small business owners to celebrate the city's Opportunity Zone designation on May 22, 2018. (WHAV News photograph)

3rd District congressional hopeful Dan Koh met with Haverhill small business owners to celebrate the city's Opportunity Zone designation on May 22, 2018. (WHAV News photograph)

Third District congressional hopeful Dan Koh met with Haverhill small business owners Tuesday to hear their concerns as the city celebrates its designation as a federal Opportunity Zone.

In the roundtable discussion at downtown maker space CreatorPult, Koh spent more than an hour chatting with new and veteran business owners including CreatorPult’s Chris White and Paper Potpourri’s Elaine Barker.

Top of mind for the candidate was how to foster Haverhill’s existing businesses while making room for other entrepreneurs that may seek the tax incentives provided by the Opportunity Zone designation.

“We think that the American Dream is through good healthcare and a good job and we believe everyone should have a shot a good, well-paying job with upward mobility,” Koh told WHAV. “This Opportunity Zone designation is really exciting for Haverhill because it allows for more development to happen and to give business people an incentive to do more business in Haverhill. We want to make sure we’re empowering that.”

Koh found immense value in Tuesday’s sit-down with business owners.

“As a first-time congressional candidate, anyone who’s in this race should make sure they’re listening and pay attention to where the current tension points are,” said Koh, who seeks to replace retiring congresswoman Niki Tsongas.

The Andover-based candidate put down his own roots in Haverhill earlier this month with the opening of a River Street campaign office. Marty Walsh’s former chief of staff Koh faces opposition on September’s primary ballot from Democrats including Sen. Barbara L’Italien and Haverhill natives Alexandra Chandler and Juana Matias, among others.