Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced $240,000 in Competitive Florida Partnership grant awards, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to six rural communities across the state. These awards establish a partnership with DEO and provide funding assistance to small rural areas to begin the strategic economic development planning process.

“Rural communities across the state should be able to attract businesses, support a highly-trained workforce and generate sustainable economic growth – while still highlighting what makes them unique,” said Governor DeSantis. “Competitive Florida allows these communities to create the blueprint to achieve their economic goals.”

The Competitive Florida Partnership Program awards $40,000 to communities to fund the creation of a strategic economic plan that promotes community design, economic diversity, economic viability and disaster resiliency. The program also offers a committed partnership with DEO to provide long-term technical assistance. DEO will guide communities and connect them with available resources to support their economic development efforts.

“Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature continue to champion programs that help Florida’s rural communities thrive,” said Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Ken Lawson. “The Competitive Florida Partnership Program showcases the best of community and state partnerships. These grants allow Florida communities to take the first steps to making their economic development visions a reality to see their communities prosper for generations.”

Communities were chosen based on their economic needs and community support for the partnerships. The following communities are being awarded through the Competitive Florida Partnership Program:
• City of Crestview in Okaloosa County
• City of Fort Meade in Polk County
• City of LaBelle in Hendry County
• City of Midway in Gadsden County
• City of Okeechobee in Okeechobee County
• Panacea in Wakulla County

For more information on or to apply for the Competitive Florida Partnership Program, visit FloridaJobs.org/CompetitiveFlorida.



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