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Small rural counties and cities receive business development grants

by | Feb 15, 2021


Fourteen small rural counties and cities recently received grants totaling $348,400 for site preparation projects designed to lure new businesses to the area. The awards are part of Enterprise Florida Inc’s (EFI) Rural Expansion Toolkit initiative to assist rural communities with broad-based economic engagement and capacity building efforts.

“Many rural communities throughout the state that are seeking to attract investment need just a little bit of assistance to get them to where they want to be,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “From helping with site preparedness to simple marketing, this grant from EFI will help serve that purpose and will have a significant impact.”

To gain a competitive advantage when it comes to business attraction and expansion projects, Enterprise Florida’s Site Preparation Grants will assist Florida’s rural communities with the development and enhancement of sites to make them build ready and competitive for site selection projects.

“I have deep roots in rural Florida, and we are committed to being sure all of Florida experiences recovery and has the tools for opportunity,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida Inc. “The Rural Engagement Toolkit is putting nearly $350,000 to work right now for communities implementing their specialized rural development plans.”

Enterprise Florida’s Rural Expansion Toolkit, introduced last fall, consists of grant programs including consulting services and site preparedness in the rural communities, as well as existing marketing and training grant opportunities. Applications were accepted from local or regional economic development or community partners located within a rural community as identified in 288.0656(e) Florida Statutes and, in the case of the site preparedness program, those who can also demonstrate a pathway to site readiness.

The following communities received funding through Enterprise Florida’s Site Preparation Grant Award Program:
Wakulla County Economic Development Council,  $25,000
City of Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency, $25,000
Levy County Nature Coast Business Development Council, $25,000
Highlands County Economic Development, $25,000
Suwannee County Economic Development, $24,250
Columbia County Economic Development Department $24,900
North Florida Economic Development Partnership, $25,000
City of Monticello, $24,250
Holmes County Development Commission, $25,000
Hendry County Economic Development Council, $25,000
Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation, $25,000
Hamilton County Development Authority, $25,000
Glades County Economic Development Council, $25,000
Baker County Chamber / Economic Development, $25,000

For criteria and more information, visit here.

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