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Section 288.065, Florida Statutes, establishes the Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund Program within the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to facilitate the use of existing federal, state and local financial resources to promote the economic viability of rural communities.

The program provides long-term loans, loan guarantees, and loan loss reserves. Generally, the interest rate will not exceed five percent per annum; and the commitment fee for a guaranty will not exceed three percent. The Director of DEO makes the final decisions on projects including all terms and conditions of the loan.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be a unit of local government in a rural county; or
  • Be an economic development organization substantially underwritten by a unit of local government within a rural county; and
  • Demonstrate the ability to repay the loans, and/or compensate for the guarantees and reserves.

Eligible Projects / Expenditures

Eligible projects / expenditures:

  • Any public purpose project may be acquired, constructed, or improved with the assistance of the program.
  • Projects must result in the creation or retention of jobs, the maintenance of existing industry or economic activity, or the expansion or diversification of the local economic base.
  • Eligible uses of loan proceeds include: the purchase of equipment; the acquisition, construction, or improvement of buildings; acquisition of land, water/sewer projects.


Upon DEO's approval, and the applicant's acceptance of the terms and conditions, DEO will:

  • Initiate the closing process
  • Prepare all loan or guaranty documents
  • Administer the loan or guaranty

For more information, application, or assistance with an application, please contact Pam Portwood at Pam.Portwood@deo.myflorida.com or (850) 717-8423.

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