Is My Community Eligible?

If the answer is yes to all the questions below your community may be eligible to request a "Reduction or Waiver of Financial Match Requirements" and assistance from the Rural Economic Development Initiative.

  1. Does your community have an employment base that is dominated by traditional agricultural or resource-based industries? To ensure your community meets this criteria utilize the "On The Map" tool produced by the United States Census Bureau. On the left side of the screen under "Search" type in the name and state of your community (for example, Sweetgum, Florida), select "Places (Cities, Census-Designated Place, etc.)" from the drop down menu, then select "Search." Select your community from the list of results, when a map appears in the right side of the screen, click on "Perform Analysis on Selection Area" and the "Analysis Settings" page will open. Select work/area profile/the most current year/all jobs click on "Go" then select "Detailed Report" under the "Report/Map Outputs" toolbar found on the left-side of the screen.
  2. Is the population of your community 25,000 or less?
  3. Is your community an unincorporated federal enterprise community, or an incorporated rural city that is not located in a designated rural county?
  4. Does your community have at least three or more economic distress factors equal to or greater than similar designated rural communities?

Local economic distress factors

  • low per capita income
  • low per capita taxable values
  • high unemployment
  • high underemployment
  • low weekly earned wages
  • low housing values
  • high percentages of the population receiving public assistance
  • high poverty levels

To qualify, applicants must submit a request and current documentation that shows the local employment base is focused on traditional agriculture or a resource base industry (forestry, mining, fishing, hunting, quarrying, oil and gas extraction); and current data showing the community has three or more economic distress factors greater than the state average.

The following can assist with the most recent community labor statistics, percentage of students participating in the free lunch program, housing values, property tax values, census tracts, land use maps, etc.:

"On the Map" is a good tool to use for defining the local employment base; agriculture or resource based industries must fall within the top 10 industries.

All submissions must include the most current data available, census tract number/s of the area to be included, and backup documentation of all sources. Please send request to the attention of:

  • Joshua Askey
    • Joshua.Askey@Commerce.fl.gov
    • FloridaCommerce
    • Division of Community Development
    • 107 East Madison Street
    • Tallahassee, Florida 32399
    • Phone: (850) 717-8506

Upon verification, a letter of eligibility will be provided to qualified communities. The designation for community that is not located in a "Rural County" is good for two years from the date on the letter of eligibility. A new request and updated documentation must be submitted on or before the expiration date to continue designation.

An equal opportunity employer/program.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
All voice telephone numbers on this website may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711.
You have selected a link to a website that is outside of the floridajobs.org domain. Control of the content of this website belongs to the website's owner and not to Florida Commerce.