Highlands County is strategically positioned with financial opportunities and tax incentives to assist new and expanding businesses to enhance profitability. The state has specifically designed its business and investment programs to deliver quicker, quality service along with more capital during a company's start-up, expansion, or relocation.

The area’s commercial banks with combined deposits of more than $1.6 billion fund construction, purchase of machinery and equipment, and working capital to qualified applicants. Federal and State grants may also be available. The Board of County Commissioners established the Highlands County Industrial Development Authority with a mandate to provide industrial revenue bond financing to qualifying applicants.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs lend money to small businesses unable to secure financing on reasonable terms through normal lending channels. The SBA loan programs are operated through private-sector lenders that provide loans which are, in turn, guaranteed by the SBA -- the agency has no funds for direct lending or grants. SBA offers a variety of loan programs for very specific purposes. Take some time to study the programs by visiting www.sba.gov/loans-grants/see-what-sba-offers/sba-loan-programs, to see if you qualify to participate.

SBA 504 Loan Program | Overview & Eligibility | Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Loan Program available through Florida First Capital provides affordable long-term capital for the purchase of major fixed assets, such as owner-occupied commercial real estate, energy efficient green projects and/or heavy duty machinery and equipment, without the high down payment requirements often associated with conventional financing programs. Borrowers can also get relief from high-interest commercial mortgage debt under the SBA’s 504 Debt Refinancing Program. Full details here. 

  • Up to 90% commercial financing.
  • Low down payment conserves valuable working capital for borrowers.
  • Below-market, fixed interest rates (no ARMS).
  • 25-, 20- and 10-year amortization terms available (no balloons).
  • Total projects from $125,000 to $20 million+.

USDA Rural Development Loan and Grant Assistance  

USDA Rural Development forges partnerships with rural communities, funding projects that bring housing, community facilities, business guarantees, utilities and other services to rural America. USDA provides technical assistance and financial backing for rural businesses and cooperatives to create quality jobs in rural areas. Rural Development promotes the President's National Energy Policy and ultimately the nation's energy security by engaging the entrepreneurial spirit of rural America in the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements. Rural Development works with low-income individuals, State, local and Indian tribal governments, as well as private and nonprofit organizations and user-owned cooperatives. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all-programs.  

C-PACE: Commercial - Property Assessed Clean Energy

Property Assessed Clean Energy for commecial/industrial projects or C-PACE for short, is a financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy effieciency, renewable energy, wind mitigation, and water conservation projects. PACE financing is repaid as an assessment on the property's regular tax bill and is processed the same way as other local public benefit assessments (i.e. sidewalks & sewers). Depending on local legislation, PACE can be used for commercial, nnprofit and residential properties. For more information, visit http://info.counterpointesre.com/highlands_pace.

Still Have Questions? Contact Our Team.

To learn more about applying and qualifying for one of our incentives, taking advantage of our community’s workforce programs, or saving on operating costs while you grow, contact our team. We’re here to help.


Enhancing the quality of life in Highlands County by attracting a variety of new businesses and increasing industrial investment, all while facilitating the retention and successful expansion of existing businesses and industry.

Keep In Touch

Economic Development
Highlands County Board of County Commissioners
(P) 863.402.6924
(F) 863.402.6651