DEO Press Releases

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces Availability of Historic Funding for Rural Communities

Jul 15, 2022


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced that a historic amount of funding – a total of $30 million – is now available to Florida’s rural communities through the Rural Infrastructure Fund (RIF). Infrastructure projects facilitated through the RIF program further economic development initiatives in rural communities and strengthen their local economies.

“Thanks to the leadership of Governor DeSantis, rural communities can now apply for a historic $30 million,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “This historic funding will build on our investments in rural Florida and make positive, long-term impacts in Florida communities for generations to come.”

RIF facilitates the planning, preparing, and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities, which encourage job creation, capital investment, and the strengthening and diversification of rural economies. This program is also intended to facilitate access to other state and federal infrastructure funding programs.

Eligible communities can apply for the following funding:

  • $25 million is available to rural communities statewide throughout for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-2023 through the Federal State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF). Eligible uses of funds include the planning and construction of improvements to public water, wastewater, stormwater, and broadband infrastructure.
  • $5 million is available through the Florida Panhandle Specific Appropriation for Calhoun, Gadsden, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, and Washington counties, and all municipalities within their boundaries. 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, and enhancements to inadequate infrastructure that has resulted in regulatory action.


DEO will hold two webinars to provide an overview of the application process and technical assistance for potential applicants for the RIF Statewide and the RIF Panhandle Specific Appropriation funding. The RIF Statewide Funding webinar will be held on July 28, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Eastern Time, and the RIF Panhandle Specific Appropriation webinar will be held on July 28, 2022, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Eastern Time.

The application cycle will remain open through August 31, 2022, at 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Eligible communities may submit a grant application electronically or by mail to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Small Cities and Rural Communities, RIF Program, 107 East Madison Street, MSC 400, Tallahassee, FL 32399-6508.

Awards will be made on a rolling basis as applications to the program are received.

For more information about the RIF program, how to register to attend the application webinars and submit an application, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org/RIF

About DEO

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org.

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