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The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Regional Rural Development Grant program was established to encourage rural communities to leverage limited resources by utilizing regional economic development organizations to develop and implement long-term strategies that will help:

  • Attract new businesses;
  • Grow existing businesses;
  • Build the innovative and adaptive capacity of rural leaders who are active in decision-making roles in their communities;
  • Improve physical infrastructure; and,
  • Create a strong and diversified workforce

Eligible applicants include organizations made up of two or more contiguous rural counties which agree to cooperatively establish an economic or tourism development office, with a desire to develop, promote, and implement sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life of the areas they serve. Consultants may not apply.

An organization may receive up to $50,000 a year, or $150,000, if located in and represent, three or more contiguous counties within a Rural Areas of Opportunity. Grants must be matched by an equivalent amount of non-state resources. Applicants must have a current organizational strategic plan, provide letters of support and documentation of financial or in-kind support from each partner listed on the application, and a full organizational budget. Organizations that do not have a current strategic plan will be required to use a portion of awarded funds to develop or update their plan.

For more information about the Regional Rural Development Grant, including an application or assistance with completing an application, please contact Sean Lewis at (850) 717-8428. Completed applications must be submitted in electronic and hard copy format to Dixie Flora at Dixie.Flora@deo.myflorida.com, 107 East Madison Street, The Caldwell Building, Tallahassee FL 32399.

DEO will review and verify applications within ten days of receipt and notify applicants of any deficiencies. The DEO Executive Director will make a final decision based on all recommendations and backup.


Grants will be available on a continuous basis until all funds are awarded.

An equal opportunity employer/program.  Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
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