The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Regional Rural Development Grant program was established by Section 288.018, Florida Statutes, to encourage rural communities (see Rural Definition and Eligibility) to leverage limited resources by utilizing regional economic development organizations to develop and implement long-term strategies that will help:

  • Attract new businesses;
  • Grow existing businesses; and
  • Build the innovative and adaptive capacity of rural leaders who are active in decision-making roles in their communities.

Eligible applicants include organizations made up of two or more contiguous rural counties, which agree to cooperatively establish an economic or tourism development office with a desire to develop, promote and implement sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life of the areas they serve. Consultants may not apply.

An organization may receive up to $50,000 or $150,000, if representing two or more rural counties, in a rural area of opportunity recommended by the Rural Economic Development Initiative and designated by the Governor, and must be matched each year by an equivalent amount of nonstate resources.

Applicants must provide:

  • A current organizational strategic plan (Organizations that do not have a current strategic plan will be required to use a portion of awarded funds to develop or update their plan.)
  • Letters of support and documentation of financial or in-kind support from each partner listed on the application; and
  • A full organizational budget.

For more information about the Regional Rural Development Grant, to request an application or receive assistance with completing an application, please contact Sean Lewis at (850) 717-8428. Completed applications must be submitted in electronic format to Sean Lewis at Sean.Lewis@DEO.MyFlorida.com and hard copy format must be sent to:

  • Sean Lewis
  • 107 East Madison Street
  • The Caldwell Building
  • Tallahassee, FL 32399.

DEO will review and verify applications within ten days of receipt and notify applicants of any deficiencies.

Deadline

Grants are available on a continuous basis until all funds are awarded.

An equal opportunity employer/program.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
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