In the State of Florida, there are three Rural Areas of Critical Economic Concern (RACEC), one of which is located in the south central region of the state. A RACEC is defined as rural communities, or a region composed of rural communities, that have been adversely affected by extraordinary economic events or natural disasters.
The Governor may designate up to three RACECs, which establishes each region as a priority assignment for REDI agencies and allows the Governor to waive criteria of any economic development incentive including, but not limited to: the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program under section 288.106 F.S., the Quick Response Training Program and the Quick Response Training Program for participants in the welfare transition program under section 288.047 F.S., transportation projects under section 288.063 F.S., the brownfield redevelopment bonus refund under section 288.107 F.S., and the rural job tax credit program under section 212.098 F.S. and section 220.1895 F.S
In the South Central RACEC, the FHREDI organization aggressively works toward enhancing the economy of the region and lifting communities out of the “rural” designation by creating and supporting regional programs. Currently, those programs are Broadband Development, Business Development, Tourism Development and Transportation Development. Improving access to education and workforce training, and business expansion and retention are always the fundamental objectives of each of FHREDI’s programs.