Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced $348,400 has been awarded to 14 rural counties and cities for site preparation projects. The awards are part of Enterprise Florida’s Rural Expansion Toolkit initiative to assist rural communities with broad-based economic engagement and capacity building efforts.

“Many rural communities throughout the state that are seeking to attract investment need just a little bit of assistance to get them to where they want to be,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “From helping with site preparedness to simple marketing, this grant from EFI will help serve that purpose and will have a significant impact.”

To gain a competitive advantage when it comes to business attraction and expansion projects, Enterprise Florida’s Site Preparation Grants will assist Florida’s rural communities with the development and enhancement of sites to make them build ready and competitive for site selection projects.

“I have deep roots in rural Florida, and we are committed to being sure all of Florida experiences recovery and has the tools for opportunity,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, president & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. “The Rural Engagement Toolkit is putting nearly $350,000 to work right now for communities implementing their specialized rural development plans.”

Enterprise Florida’s Rural Expansion Toolkit, introduced last fall, consists of grant programs including Consulting Services and Site Preparedness in the Rural Communities, as well as existing Marketing & Training grant opportunities. Applications were accepted from local or regional economic development or community partners located within a rural community as identified in 288.0656(e) Florida Statutes and, in the case of the site preparedness program, those who can also demonstrate a pathway to site readiness.

Enterprise Florida is awarding the following communities funding through the Site Preparation Grant Award Program:

Wakulla County Economic Development Council                    $25,000

City of Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency               $25,000

Levy County Nature Coast Business Development Council    $25,000

Highlands County Economic Development                              $25,000

Suwannee County Economic Development                             $24,250

Columbia County Economic Development Department           $24,900

North Florida Economic Development Partnership                  $25,000

City of Monticello                                                                      $24,250

Holmes County Development Commission                              $25,000

Hendry County Economic Development Council                      $25,000

Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation      $25,000

Hamilton County Development Authority                                  $25,000

Glades County Economic Development Council                      $25,000

Baker County Chamber / Economic Development                   $25,000

For criteria and more information, visit enterpriseflorida.com/ruralprograms.



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