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RBAC - Economic Development Resources

Florida Venture Capital: Florida Opportunity Fund (Enterprise Florida)

Consists of two programs: Fund of Funds Program with $29.5 million and the Clean Energy Investment Program with $36 million.

The Fund of Funds program provides investments in seed and early-stage venture capital funds that target (in whole or in part) investment opportunities within Florida. The Clean Energy Investment Program was created to promote the adoption of energy efficient or renewable energy (EE/RE) products and technologies in Florida by providing funding to businesses to increase the use of EE/RE technologies, equipment and materials in the state.

Florida Economic Gardening Business Loan Pilot Program (BBIF)

Low-interest loans for stage two companies. Funded at $8.5 million. Award amounts from $50,000 to $250,000.

Low-interest loans administered by BBIF available to businesses with 10-50 employees in targeted industries.

Florida Growth Fund

Established in 2008 to enhance Florida's capacity for growth and innovation. Fund has $250 million under management.

There are two structures guiding distribution of the funds:

  1. Private equity fund investments.
  2. Directly into companies through a co-investment with another institutional investor.

BONDS: Florida Development Finance Corp. (Enterprise Florida)

Offers qualifying businesses lower cost variable and fixed rate financing through Private Activity Bond issues.

Created by the Florida Legislature and charged with assisting economic development efforts in the state through the issuance of Enterprise Bonds. Typical bond issue amounts are at least $1,000,000 so that front-end bond finance costs are financially viable to the borrower.

Florida Community Loan Fund (FCLF)

CDFI Fund (U.S. Treasury Department) awarded FCLF $45 million in tax credit allocation authority under New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program for Florida.

FCLF will expand its NMTC work by coordinating $45 million in direct private capital to finance high-impact economic development projects, nonprofit organizations providing essential social services to low-income areas, and commercial real estate with tangible benefits to low-income persons.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans: Florida First Capital Finance Corp. (FFCFC)

FFCFC was founded by the state of Florida in 1984 to administer SBA loans in Florida. It manages three types of loan programs.

SBA 504 loans (national availability $7.5 billion): Access to low-interest, long-term (up to 20 years) and fixed-rate financing with only 10% down payment requirements for the purchase, construction or renovation of owner-occupied commercial real estate and/or the acquisition of industrial equipment or other fixed assets.

SBA 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program (national availability $14 billion): Funds to ensure small businesses maintain adequate access to 7(a) loans that may be used to establish a new business or to assist in the operation, acquisition or expansion of an existing business. SBA may guarantee up to 85 percent of 7(a) loans.

Florida Recycling Loan Program (Florida $2.5 million): Administered by FFCFC for DEP and provides below-market financing for companies that manufacture products from recycled materials or convert recyclable materials into raw materials for use in manufacturing. The program offers funding for the purchase of machinery and equipment. The potential borrower is required to have an equity injection of 10% of the total amount of the loan.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Micro-Loan Program

National availability $6 million

Provides small loans to start-up, newly established, or growing small business concerns. SBA makes funds available to nonprofit community based lenders (intermediaries) which, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers in amounts up to a maximum of $35,000.

SBA HUBZone Program

Stimulates economic development and creates jobs in urban and rural communities by providing federal contracting preferences to small businesses.

The HUBZone program was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997. The company must also maintain a "principal office" in one of these specially designated areas. The SBA regulates and implements the program, determines which businesses are eligible to receive HUBZone contracts, maintains a listing of qualified HUBZone small businesses federal agencies can use to locate vendors, and adjudicates protests of eligibility to receive HUBZone contracts.

Florida Business Contract Opportunities

Listing of state competitive opportunities for buyers, vendors and contractors.

Register to receive notices of opportunities to do business with the state of Florida.

Federal Business Contract Opportunities

Listing of federal business opportunities for buyers, vendors and contractors.

Receive notices of opportunities to do business with the federal government.

Research Commercialization Matching Grant Program

Legislators passed this program in 2010 to provide matching grants to businesses that are awarded SBIR/STTR federal grants for Phase "I" (up to $150,000) and Phase "II" (up to $1,000,000). Florida will match up to $50,000 for Phase "I" and up to $250,000 for Phase "II."

High-tech companies can seek federal SBIR/STTR grants. The Phase "0" Pilot Program can also increase the company's chances of developing successful proposals for such funding. Phase "0" grants, of $3,000, assists to develop proposals that three product specialists review. Phase "I" grant funds the creation of a product proof of concept. Phase "II" grant funds the creation of a prototype and commercializing the product.

Phase "0" Pilot Program Grants $3,000

Awards businesses Phase "0" $3,000 grants to assist with completing a proposal for a federal contract and SBIR/STTR grant.

High-tech companies can seek federal SBIR/STTR grants. The Phase "0" Pilot Program can also increase the company's chances of developing successful proposals for such funding. Phase "0" grants, of $3,000, assists to develop proposals that three product specialists review. Federal Phase "I" (up to $150,000) funds the creation of a product proof of concept. Phase "II" (up to $1,000,000) funds the creation of a prototype and commercializing the product.

International Assistance for Businesses and Economic Development Organizations

Florida Export Directory (Enterprise Florida)

Free online Florida export directory, which any Florida company can sign up for to get its businesses global exposure for future sales and clients. Provided by the state economic development agency, Enterprise Florida.

Florida Trade Missions & Trade Shows (Enterprise Florida)

Florida conducts 20 to 45 trade missions and shows a year. Enterprise Florida offers trade grants to businesses to cover up to 50% of the booth space.

Companies wanting to export their product or expand their market base can attend trade shows and missions with the state of Florida.

Florida Export Finance Corp. (FEFC)

Created by the state of Florida to provide Florida businesses financing options for exporting of goods and services.

Provides access to direct loans up to $50,000 or loan guarantees up to $500,000 to small- and medium-sized businesses.


InfoUSA can provide a business or EDO organization a list, by county, of purchase companies and manufacturers that export out of Florida.

For a fee the company can pull a list by county for an EDO or business to target companies that export.

Economic Development Resources and Incentives

Local Government Distressed Area Matching Grant Program (OTTED)

$3 million allocated by legislation to provide to businesses a 50-percent match of expenditures by local governments used to attract and retain businesses in distressed areas.

Applications are accepted from local governments that plan on offering financial assistance to a specific business in the area. The targeted businesses are required to create at least 15 full-time jobs and the project must either be new to Florida, expanding operations in Florida or leaving Florida unless it receives local and state government assistance. The amount awarded by the state of Florida will equal $50,000 or 50% of the local government's assistance amount, whichever is less, and will be provided following the commitment and payment of that assistance.

Jobs for the Unemployed Tax Credit Program (OTTED)

Provides incentives to businesses throughout Florida to hire qualified employees who were previously unemployed.

The program is available to all businesses identified as a "target industry." The business may receive a tax credit of $1,000 for every employee hired as of July 1, 2010. The business may claim only new hires that were previously unemployed for a minimum of 30 days, and that remain employed after a 12-month period at an average of 36 hours per week. The program will run until June 30, 2012, with a limit of $5 million available for tax credits in each fiscal year.

Manufacturing and Spaceport Investment Incentive Program (OTTED)

Encourages capital investment and job creation in manufacturing and spaceport activities in Florida.

Applications are accepted by eligible businesses from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2012. A tax refund up to $50,000 will be given on the state sales and use tax paid for eligible equipment purchases. Purchase cost must exceed a business' total expenditures on eligible equipment purchased and placed into service in this state during the 2008 tax year.

Community Contribution Tax Credit Program (OTTED)

Encourages private sector donations to community redevelopment projects in enterprise zones and to low-income housing projects. A tax credit of 50 percent of the donation is allowed.

New Markets Development Program (OTTED)

The program encourages capital investment in low-income communities. Taxpayers earn credits by investing in qualified Community Development Entities (CDEs) that make investments in active low-income community businesses. A person or entity that invests in a CDE earns a vested tax credit equal to 39 percent of the purchase price of the qualified investment. Qualified CDEs may apply to OTTED to have investments approved as qualified investments for Florida New Market Tax Credits.

Enterprise Zone Program (OTTED/Enterprise Florida)

Encourages the revitalization of economically distressed areas in Florida by providing credits against Florida's sales tax or corporate income tax to businesses located in an enterprise zone for hiring zone residents.

Corporate income tax credits are available for businesses that construct or expand their facilities within a zone. Sales tax refunds are available when businesses purchase business equipment or building materials for use within a zone. Local governments can provide additional incentives for a zone located within their boundaries.

Brownfield Redevelopment Bonus (Enterprise Florida)

The bonus is designed to work with QTI projects, paying a bonus of $2,500 per job over and above the QTI award.

Created by the Legislature in 1997 to encourage development of abandoned, idled or underused industrial and commercial sites where expansion or development is complicated by actual or perceived environmental contamination. The program was expanded by the Legislature in 2000 and provides a $2,500 per job award for non-QTI projects that meet job creation and capital investment.

Economic Development Transportation Fund: Road Fund (Enterprise Florida)

Provides local governments with funding for transportation-related projects required to induce companies to locate, remain or expand within the local government's jurisdiction.

Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program: QTI (Enterprise Florida)

QTI provides a tax refund of $3,000 per new job created in Florida through the expansion of existing Florida businesses or the location of new ones.

Designed to encourage the creation of high-skill jobs and encourage the growth of corporate headquarters and other targeted industries. The QTI increases to $6,000 per job within an enterprise zone or rural county. A business is eligible for a $1,000 per job bonus if it pays over 150% average wage in the area, and a $2,000 per job bonus if over 200%. Projects must be supported by their community to the amount of 20% of the incentive.

High-Impact Performance Incentive Grants: HIPI (Enterprise Florida)

Grants of $500,000 to $1,000,000 are provided to pre-approved business applicants in certain high-impact sectors.

Once approved, the high-impact business is awarded 50% of the eligible grant upon commencement of operations and the other half once full employment and capital investment goals are met. A negotiated incentive used to attract and grow major high impact facilities in Florida.

Capital Investment Tax Credit: CITC (Enterprise Florida)

Annual credit against the corporate income tax which is available for up to 20 years in an amount equal to 5 percent of the eligible capital costs generated by a qualifying project.

Used to attract and grow capital-intensive industries in Florida. Eligible capital costs include all expenses incurred in the acquisition, construction, installation and equipping of a project from the beginning of construction to the commencement of operations. Available to businesses in HIPI-designated sectors. Businesses must make an investment of at least $100 million to receive the full credit.

Qualified Defense Contractors Tax Refund Program: QDC (Enterprise Florida)

A tool to preserve and grow Florida's high technology employment base, giving Florida companies a competitive edge as defense contractors consolidate defense contracts, acquire new contracts or convert to commercial production.

Pre-approved projects receive tax refunds of up to $5,000 per job created or saved in Florida. Projects must be supported by their community, which provides funding for 20% of the incentive.

Semiconductor, Space and Defense Sales and Use Tax Exemption (Enterprise Florida)

Used to attract and grow businesses in these sectors by providing an exemption for all sales and use taxes on investments in machinery and equipment used in manufacturing and research.

Quick Action Closing Fund (Enterprise Florida)

Used to attract high impact industry to Florida. Varies in funding year to year.

  • Contact: Enterprise Florida
  • Phone: 407-956-5633

2010 passed legislation that any awards from the Quick Action Closing fund below $2 million does not need to be approved by the legislative budget commission and has a 14-day turn-around.

Florida Energy & Climate Commission

State Energy Grant Program – Florida's allocated amount: $126 Million

Florida Regional Planning Councils (RPCs)

Offers Economic Impact Analyses studies (REMI) services discounted or free for economic development organizations. Certain RPCs offer micro loan revolving funds for small businesses.

The website lists the 11 regional planning councils. Contact the council for your region for REMI/Economic Impact Analyses services and Micro Loan funds.

Florida Grants

Listing of Florida grants, loans and technical assistance for cities, government and economic development organizations.

Book and website listing for Florida grants, loans, technical assistance and other resources available to Florida municipalities and EDOs.

Federal Grants

Listing of federal, EDA, American Recovery & Reinvestment Act grants/loans for companies, economic development organizations and nonprofits.

EDOs/cities/counties/companies can register their DUNS number on the system and it will track all grant applications.

Rural Assistance

Florida: Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Website

Website created to assist rural communities in Florida with listings of grants and resources.

Rural and Urban Job Tax Credits

Incentive for eligible businesses located rural or one of the 13 urban areas to create new jobs.

The tax credit ranges from $500 to $2,000 per qualified employee and can be taken against either the Florida Corporate Income Tax or the Florida Sales and Use Tax. These tax credits are provided to encourage meaningful employment opportunities that will improve the quality of life of those employed and to encourage economic expansion of businesses in rural and urban areas of Florida.

Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Program

This program provides local governments with access to financial assistance through low-interest long-term loans.

Created to promote the economic viability of rural communities and create jobs for residents of Florida's rural areas by leveraging the use of existing federal, state and local financial resources.

Rural Infrastructure Fund

Facilitates the planning, preparing and financing of traditional economic development or nature-based tourism infrastructure projects that encourage job creation and capital investment in rural communities.

The Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED) may award up to 40% of total costs for catalyst site projects, and no more than 30% of total costs for projects in rural counties that are not located on designated catalyst sites. The maximum amount available per grant/project is limited to 25% of appropriated funds.

Regional Rural Development Grants (Enterprise Florida)

Established to encourage rural counties and rural communities to leverage limited resources by utilizing regional economic development organizations.

Eligible applicants include private organizations made up of two or more rural counties, including municipalities or communities, which agree to cooperatively establish an economic development office. An organization may receive up to $35,000 a year, or $100,000 in a Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern (RACEC). Grants must be matched by an equivalent amount of non-state resources. Applicants must provide letters of support and documentation of financial or in-kind support from each partner listed on the application.

Workforce Resources

Science, Technology, Engineering & Match (STEM)

June 2009, Workforce Florida and Enterprise Florida created a statewide council to strengthen the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills of Florida's students as a way to address the increasing demand for jobs requiring strong foundations in these areas.

A business-led Florida STEM Council, funded by a $580,000 grant from Workforce Florida, will connect education, workforce, business and economic development leaders to identify opportunities to build and measure the state's supply of workers with skills and knowledge in these fields to support innovation in existing and emerging industries.

Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI)

Workforce reports for the state and by county.

Provides to companies and economic development organizations: Employment/Wage Statistics Analysis by Industry and Occupation, Labor Supply Analysis for Business Recruitment, GIS Mapping for Business Recruitment and Industry Analysis, Economic Impact Analysis (REMI and IMPLAN) for Business Expansion, Ad-Hoc Employer Surveys (fee based) for Targeted Industry Analysis.

Quick Response Training Program (CareerSource Florida)

Administered by Careersource Florida, the program provides grant funding for customized training for new or expanding businesses.

Incumbent Worker Training Program

Administered by CareerSource Florida, the program provides grant funding for customized training for existing for profit businesses.

Research Resources

Enterprise Florida: Florida Industry Clusters

Micro site listing the latest updates on Florida's key industry clusters.

Last Modified:
February 13, 2023 - 8:08am

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