At the end of last week, Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) announced the launch of its Rural Expansion Toolkit offering grant opportunities directed to eligible rural communities across Florida to assist their economic engagement and capacity building efforts.
“Our goal is making sure rural Florida has the practical tools they need to create opportunity,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, the president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. “The Rural Engagement Toolkit is the result of discussions and listening sessions focused over the past year on what communities identified as essential to implementing their specialized rural development plans. My family has deep roots in rural parts of Florida, so the ability of these communities to engage is a personal as well as professional priority.”
The Rural Expansion Toolkit consists of grant programs including Consulting Services and Site Preparedness in the Rural Communities, as well as existing Marketing and Training grant opportunities. Applications will be 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.
The 2020 grant application is now open. Deadlines for application submissions are as follows:
Marketing and Training Grant – Applications will be accepted until May 1, 2021 for grant activities completed between July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.
Consulting Services Grant – Applications will be accepted until May 1, 2021 for grant activities completed between July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.
Site Preparedness Grant – Applications will be accepted until December 15, 2020.
In addition, Sowell has tapped EFI Director of Rural Development Eric Anderson to lead an internal coordinating team to unify the EFI’s International Trade, Business Development, and Minority & Small Business Entrepreneurship Capital divisions to maximize support for rural engagement.