SEDI Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about the grant program? Check below for answers to frequently asked questions.


Is there a deadline for application?

All applications for funding will be reviewed, and funding decisions rendered, on a first-come, first-served basis.

How do I contact the OEDE to discuss my project?

Please contact Dr. Brice Harris (850.698.2107 or to discuss your project prior to submitting an application.

Where can I find the mean wage for Northwest Florida for various occupations?

View data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program (collects the number of employers or reporting units, monthly employment, average employment, total wages, and average wages by the North American Industry Classification System) and/or the Occupational Employment Statistics and Wages program (produces employment and wage estimates for over 900 occupations).

Who can apply for IRREF grant funding?

IRREF is a program that targets funds to existing businesses - particularly medium and large enterprises in Florida's targeted industry clusters* or strategic areas of emphasis. It is intended for use when funding from private, State, and/or other sources either is insufficient or unavailable.

To be eligible for the IRREF Grant Program each application submitted to the OEDE must:

  1. Represent a business entity or consortium.
  2. Demonstrate that the project in support of which IRREF funds are being requested will be located in a Disproportionally Affected County**.
  3. Demonstrate active participation, or lack thereof, from relevant state and local economic development authorities.
  4. Demonstrate that the project is supported by the local community in which the project is to be located.
  5. Demonstrate the creation and sustainability (i.e., permanence) of net new, private sector, full-time equivalent jobs. The minimum number of jobs that must be created for a project that is to be located in a designated rural area, brownfield zone or enterprise zone, is 10. The minimum number of jobs that must be created for a project in areas that are not designated rural areas, brownfield zones or enterprise zones, is 30.

*Florida's targeted industry clusters or strategic areas of emphasis: defined by Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) as Clean Technology; Life Sciences; Information Technology; Aviation & Aerospace; Homeland Security & Defense; and Financial & Professional Services. EFI defines Florida's strategic areas of emphasis as Manufacturing; Corporate Headquarters; and Emerging Technologies.

**Disproportionally Affected Counties: Bay, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, and Walton.

What does "net new jobs" mean?

Net new jobs refers to those jobs that would not exist but for the project. In other words, grants that are intended to acquire market share from a competitive business do not promise to create net new jobs, but rather shift jobs from one business to another. Instead, we require the creation of sustainable, private sector jobs that do not presently exist in the marketplace.

What is meant by "export industry"?

In economic analysis terms, an export industry is a product or service that is sold outside of the local economic area by a local firm. “Export” industries bring outside money into a local economy instead of circulating money that already exists. For example, manufacturing industries are typically “export” industries in that they produce products that are sold outside of the local area. One strength of export industries is that their success is not tied to the local economy.

If my application for grant funding is approved, how do I collect the money?

Money will be disseminated over the course of a prescribed period of time, typically one year, via a performance-based contract (following the selection of award recipients, a performance-based contract will be negotiated between OEDE and the grantee outlining the responsibilities of each party).

Will I have to repay any grant funding that I receive?

Applicants are advised that, should an award be granted, all work must be completed prior to the contract end date. Actual contract performance period (not to exceed 12 months) will commence on the date the contract is fully executed by OEDE and the grant recipient. Requests for extensions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The grant recipient must agree to specific provisions for the repayment of funds in the event that the terms of the contract are not met within the performance period. Additional rules and restrictions may apply, depending on the size and scope of the award.

Will my information be held in confidence?

Please note that Florida has a broad public records law. OEDE is carrying out its functions under the oversight of the University of West Florida's Sponsored Research Division and pursuant to contract with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which constitutes an Economic Development Agency under the provisions of Section 288.075, Florida Statutes. Pursuant to Section 288.075, upon written request, information held by an economic development agency concerning plans, intentions, or interests of such private corporation, partnership, or person to locate, relocate, or expand any of its business activities in this state is confidential and exempt from Section 119.07(1), Florida Statutes and Section 24(a), Article I of the State Constitution for a specified period. In addition, any information submitted that constitutes trade secrets or proprietary confidential business information is eligible for protection from disclosure; and Section 1004.22, Florida Statutes, offers certain protections relating to materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, potentially patentable material, actual trade secrets, business transactions, or proprietary information. Accordingly, if your application includes information that is described in this paragraph, and if you desire for this information to be held in confidence, please request that this information be held in confidence.