Thursday, August 05, 2010

New State Web Site Features Rural Communities

Rural Economic Development Assistance Available

Governor Charlie Crist today announced a new Web site to assist rural communities with diversifying local economies, creating jobs and improving the quality of life of rural residents. The Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), coordinated by the Governor�s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development, provides technical assistance and referrals to regional, state and federal organizations.

For more than a decade now, the State of Florida has awarded funds to rural communities resulting in the creation of more than 14,000 jobs. This Web site will give rural communities a portal to resources available at the state and federal levels, which will in turn make it easier for rural businesses and communities to create jobs and make capital investments in their regions, the Governor explains.

On the Web site,, residents and leaders of rural communities will find information about economic development programs and incentives targeted for rural communities. Program descriptions, resources and contact information are also available under the various program pages.

The Rural Economic Development Initiative is a multi-agency effort involving state and federal agencies and regional organizations. The group assists designated rural communities in their efforts to access necessary state and federal funds, which spur job creation and capital investment, while also working to resolve permitting and regulatory issues. Established under Section 288.0656 of the Florida Statutes, REDI facilitates the location and expansion of major economic development projects in rural communities and works to minimize adverse impacts of regulations on rural areas. Since 1999, the State of Florida has awarded more than $150 million in economic development incentives and infrastructure improvement grants for projects in rural counties.

While comprising approximately nine percent of the state�s population, Florida�s rural communities are home to nearly 80 percent of the state�s land and natural resources. Currently, 32 counties are designated rural by Florida Statute.

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