(Page Shortcut: www.FloridaJobs.org/RIF)

Program Summary

The purpose of the Rural Infrastructure Fund (RIF) Grant is to facilitate the planning, preparing and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities which will encourage job creation, capital investment and the strengthening and diversification of rural economies. The RIF program is intended to facilitate access of rural communities to infrastructure funding programs, such as those offered by the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant, United States Department of Agriculture - Rural Development, and the United States Department of Commerce - Economic Development Administration.

Grant Categories

Total Project Participation Grants:

To facilitate access and maximize the use of state, federal, local and private resources, grants may be awarded for up to 50 percent of the total infrastructure project costs related to specific job-creating or job-retention opportunities. Eligible uses of funds include:

  • Improvements to public infrastructure for industrial or commercial sites;
  • Upgrades to or development of public tourism infrastructure;
  • Improvements to access and availability of broadband Internet service;
    • Improvements to broadband internet service and access must be conducted through partnership(s) with one or more dealers registered with the Department of Revenue as a provider of communications services.
    • Partnership(s) must be established through a competitive selection process that is publicly noticed.
  • Improvements to inadequate infrastructure that has resulted in regulatory action.

Project Planning and Preparation Grants:

To facilitate timely response and induce the location or expansion of specific job creating opportunities, grants may be awarded for infrastructure feasibility studies, design and engineering activities, or other infrastructure planning and preparation activities. Grants awarded under this category may be used in conjunction with Total Project Participation grants provided the total amount of both grants does not exceed 30 percent of the total project cost. Maximum amounts of grants:

  • $50,000 for employment project with a business committed to create at least 100 jobs;
  • $150,000 for employment project with a business committed to create at least 300 jobs; and
  • $300,000 for a project in a rural area of opportunity.

Preclearance Review Grants:

To enable rural communities to access the resources available under the Expedited Permitting - Preclearance Review Process (Section 403.973(18), Florida Statutes), grants may be awarded for surveys, feasibility studies, and other activities related to the identification and preclearance review of land which is suitable for preclearance review. Maximum amounts and match requirements:

  • Projects located outside a Rural Area of Opportunity - $75,000 with 50 percent local funds match.
  • Projects located within a Rural Area of Opportunity - $300,000 with 33 percent local funds match.
  • Projects located within a catalyst site (as defined in Section 288.0656, Florida Statutes): maximum amounts same as above with local funds match requirement waived.

Fiscal Year 2021-2022 RIF Available Funding

A total of $7.5 million in funding is available through RIF for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-2022. Funding in the amount of $2.5 million is available for eligible rural communities statewide. Additionally, $5 million is available through the Florida Panhandle Specific Appropriation.

Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Grant Application Cycle and Submission Information

The application cycle will open in November 2021 and will close January 7, 2022.

Applications will be reviewed upon closing of the application cycle and awards will be recommended based on application completeness, eligibility, and statutory factors for funding consideration. Any unawarded funds may be made available for additional application cycles during the FY 2021-2022.

  • Notice of Funding Availability
  • FY 2021-2022 RIF Application Guide

$2.5 Million RIF Statewide Funding

Eligible Applicants are units of local government within an area designated as a Rural Area of Opportunity or a rural county or community as defined by the Rural Economic Development Initiative (pursuant to Section 288.0656, Florida Statutes).

$5 Million Florida Panhandle Specific Appropriation

Eligible Applicants are local governments of Calhoun, Gadsden, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, and Washington counties, and all municipalities within their boundaries.

Interested applicants must REGISTER to receive a personalized link to the online RIF FY 2021-2022 Application. Each application to be submitted must be registered separately.

Webinar on FY 2021-2022 Application Cycle

The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) will hold a webinar on December 2, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Eastern Time, to provide an overview of the process and technical assistance to complete and submit an application. The webinar will be held via teleconference.

Application Information and Documents

Additional Information and Resources

For questions or requests for technical assistance regarding the RIF program, proposed projects, or completion and submission of applications, please email RIF@deo.myflorida.com.

FY 2021-2022 RIF Application Cycle

The FY 2021-2022 RIF application cycle is now open and will close on January 7, 2022. DEO will hold a webinar on December 2, 2021 at 10 a.m. to provide an overview of the process and technical assistance on how to complete and submit the application.

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