Rural Incentives

Florida encourages growth throughout the state by offering increased incentive awards and lower wage qualification thresholds in its rural counties. Additionally, a Rural Community Development Revolving Loan Fund and Rural Infrastructure Fund exist to meet the special needs that businesses encounter in rural counties.

Rural Job Tax Credit Program

The Rural Job Tax Credit Program offers an incentive for eligible businesses located within one of 36 designated Qualified Rural Areas to create new jobs. The tax credit ranges from $1,000 to $1,500 per qualified employee and can be taken against either the Florida Corporate Income Tax or the Florida Sales and Use Tax. The credit can only be taken against one of these two taxes. The 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 new and existing businesses in rural areas of Florida. Five million dollars of tax credits may be approved in a calendar year.

Rural Infrastructure Fund

The purpose of the Rural Infrastructure Fund Grant is to facilitate 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. Grants are offered for up to 30 percent of the total infrastructure project costs related to specific job-creating opportunities. Gulf County has been designated as a Rural Area of Opportunity, or RAO, by the State of Florida, allowing special considerations to any company developing within that area. Local government can successfully leverage the State's Rural Infrastructure Fund.

Local Government Distressed Area Matching Grant Program (LDMG)

Stimulates investment in Florida's economy by assisting local governments in attracting and retaining targeted businesses. Applications are accepted from local governments/municipalities that plan on offering financial assistance to a specific business in the area. 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 be provided following the commitment and payment of that assistance.

Florida's Main Street Program

Florida Main Street is a program of the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, which provides training and technical assistance to local organizations in support of their efforts to revitalize their traditional downtown and neighborhood commercial districts. From small towns to large cities, these areas are often a reflection of the community as whole. However, this symbolic heart of the community is often a complex environment that is affected by a diversity of physical, economic, cultural, and political influences. In order to revitalize and sustain these districts, a community must address this broad range of influences. The Florida Main Street Program can assist in this process, and is structured around the "Main Street Approach", a strategy for revitalization developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

City and/or Local Property Tax Credit against Corporate Income Tax

Credit of up to $50,000 of local property tax liability may be taken against state corporate income tax.

Gulf County Economic Development Coalition

1000 Cecil G. Costin Sr. Blvd.
Room 312
Port St. Joe FL 32456
[email protected]

Jim McKnight
EDC Director

[email protected]