A 5-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce
April 14, 2020
The following is our latest on coronavirus response and news:

  • TOWN HALL WITH REP. CLEMONS: State Representative Chuck Clemons is hosting a Tele-Town Hall on Friday, April 17 at 2:30 p.m. Special guests include Sheriff Bobby Schultz, Dr. Ralph Massullo, John Hoblick, President of Florida Farm Bureau and a representative of the National Federation of Independent Business. To register, click here. If you have questions, email cale@calemccall.com or call (352) 440-1510.

  • VIRTUAL CITY COMMISSION MEETING: The Gainesville City Commission will meet virtually on April 16. The City Hall building remains closed to the public, which may access the meeting on the City of Gainesville website, Facebook Live or Cox Cable Channel 12. Public comment will be accepted by phone at 1-800-876-7516 (toll-free) using this pin number: 276 1544#. It will be accepted via eComment at this link, by email at citycomm@cityofgainesville.org and by telephone at 352-334-5015.

  • LATEST INFECTION RATES: Alachua County now has 183 confirmed positive cases, with a positivity rate around 5 - 6%. For more information, visit the City's COVID-19 Dashboard.


  • COVID-19 HR UPDATE FOR BUSINESSES: Join GrowFL and Newland Associates and their panel of of experts Tuesday, April 14 at 11 a.m. as they give an HR update focused on COVID-19. Topics include HR dos and don’ts, employer and employee benefits under the new legislation, managing remote workers and how to handle layoff notifications and concerns. Register here.

  • KEEPING CUSTOMERS ENGAGED: Join the U.S. Chamber on April 15 at 10:30 a.m. EST for their first virtual Workshop Wednesday: Keeping Customers Engaged During Coronavirus, an audience-driven discussion designed specifically for the small business community.

  • DOING BUSINESS DIFFERENTLY: Whether your business is struggling, on hold or thriving, the sales approach that made you successful in the past will very likely need to be changed to address changing ways of doing business. Join Grow Florida and Kelly Hill, CEO of Sales Advisors of Florida, on Thursday, April 16 at 11 a.m. to learn how to think about your short term, midterm and long-term sales approach to keeping the customers you have and be positioned to identify and capture new opportunities in the future. Register here.

For a more exhaustive list of updates over the past two weeks, visit the Chamber's COVID-19 page.
The Chamber's Together page is a landing page for anything you may want to know for how the community is addressing the COVID-19 crisis. Below are some examples of information you can find using our Together page.

  • See what current policies in place are, including stay-at-home orders and ordinances on restaurant operations.

  • Find out how to be tested for COVID-19.

  • Review economic indicators from this past week to get perspective on the economy.

For more information on resources for small business, enacted regulations, and information on how to help, visit the Chamber's Together page.
To submit an announcement or update, visit our  eJournal page  and scroll down. Please limit your message to 50 words, and include useful links if possible.

  • To keep you updated on the changing hours and services offered during COVID-19 social distancing, WCJB is teaming up with local businesses to provide the community with the latest hours of operation and services. Click here to see or to register your business.
  • Lync Support Services Inc. has been vigilant in their efforts to continue to keep direct care staff and instructors trained regarding COVID-19 guidelines. They have been actively supporting the Greater Gainesville area by continuing to offer 1:1 CPR training and Notary Public services.
  • Blu Dove Designs is now offering discounted rate website & marketing packages to help businesses during this challenging time needing to transition to an online workplace or connect with their customers fast. Contact by email, phone or Facebook. They continue to offer free initial consults to businesses & organizations.
  • Gator’s Den at the Best Western Gateway Grand is delivering 100+ meals to ACSO this weekend and next, as well as offering pick up or delivery catering services for any menu, group size, or budget, packaged individually as needed and available any time of day. They also accommodate to multiple drop-off locations, dietary restrictions and will provide anything from casual bar fare to formal banquet cuisine.
  • Pomodoro Cafe has provided over 150 meals to the Gainesville Police Department in appreciation of their work to keep our community safe, and will be providing 300 to the Alachua County Sheriff's Department over the next two weeks.
  • The Nationwide Foundation has awarded United Way of North Central Florida (UWNCFL) a $35,000 grant to the United We Care Emergency Relief fund to help combat the effects of COVID-19 for local community members.
  • Phalanx Defense Systems is putting in extra hours to create face masks and supply hand sanitizer to those in need.
  • Meldon Law, a family-owned law firm, is helping local businesses recover damages with free insurance policy evaluations.
  • Target Copy has adjusted their hours and is now offering shipment of finished projects through FedEx or UPS.
  • Altavian, a Gainesville-based drone maker and small business, has turned their production from drones to reusable masks to help answer the ongoing national supply shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Altavian’s engineers worked alongside doctors at the University of Florida and local hospitals to design a reusable facemask for frontline medical professionals.
  • Beginning April 9, Clay Electric Cooperative is lowering the cost of power for its members with a one-time decrease of 25 percent, or an average of $30 in savings. This savings will assist those in our communities who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Cade Museum is offering a Cade At Home series with STEAM activities you can try at home – all tied to the Mothers of Invention exhibition. Included are everyday things you can use at home for activities, plus step-by-step videos and instructions to invent and create at home!
  • Instant Imprints is continuing its partnership with the Food4Kids Backpack Program in an effort to raise funds to support those in need due to Covid 19. The Food4Kids Backpack Program fills backpacks with nonperishable food and distributes them to students in need.
  • SIMED Health is a certified COVID-19 testing facility. To learn more about how to keep yourself safe, watch their social distancing guidelines video.
  • Cox’s Connect2Compete and AT&T’s Access programs are offering low-cost internet services to homes of Alachua County Schools students.
  • Signs By Tomorrow is now selling social distancing safety screens for essential businesses.
  • Halcyon, a diving equipment manufacturer in High Springs, is now pivoting and manufacturing Personal Protection Equipment including masks and hoods and hope to move into gowns and ventilators.
  • The Gainesville Opportunity Center is in need of milk, bread, eggs and toilet paper. If you’re interested in helping, contact them.
Virtual Hiring Event
EVENT Wednesday, April 15, 1 - 2 p.m.
Join by Zoom webinar (link provided upon registration)

Learn about the variety of positions available from healthcare industry employers.

Employers will provide an overview of their company and available positions. Participants using the Zoom webinar link (provided after registration) will be able to ask questions using chat features. You can also listen  to the presentations by calling in.

Presentation Schedule
Touching Hearts at Home - CNA/HHA
North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center - Food Support Worker and Support Service Aide
UF Health Shands - Multiple positions available
Others TBD

Prior to attending, create or update your personal profile on  www.employflorida.com
Are you hiring amid the coronavirus outbreak?

To ensure you find the best candidates, please contact Andrea Mender at andrea@gainesvillechamber.com.
Hot Jobs through CareerSource NCFL

Each week, CareerSource North Central Florida staff members identify current Hot Jobs that employers are eager to fill.

If you’d like a vacant position to be included on this list, please call (352) 244-5112.   ...See this week's Hot Jobs
To apply for jobs listed:
  1. log on to www.employflorida.com
  2. Click on “Job Search” under “Quick Menu” on the left side of the page
  3. Select “Job Number Search” from the menu across the top of the page
  4. Enter the job number from the list above in the “job number” box
  5. Click on “search”
We're still being counted!
The 2020 Census is now

We know many of you have been counted, despite the challenging circumstances we are all dealing with this month, because as of April 13, Alachua County can boast a 49% completion rate, based on those who completed the census via the internet or over the phone. That is ahead of Florida as a whole, at 46.3%, and tied with the nation, also at 49%. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to help our community!

But we cannot take our foot off the gas—we are just getting started. You know how critical an accurate census count is to our nation, our state and our community. From this all-important count, federal funds are allocated for hospitals, social programs, public services, schools and roads—for the next 10 years!

Though April 1 was officially Census Day, that does not mean the count is over. That is simply the reference date to count those living in your household. Because of the pandemic, the U.S. Census does not have any census takers out in the field at this time, so it is even more important to go online or pick up the phone to complete your census.

Take a minute today to be counted and remind your employees, co-workers, friends and family to do so too. Visit www.2020census.gov for all the information you need to complete your census. Remember, We’re Counting on You, Alachua County!
Florida Museum hosting virtual Earth Day celebration April 22
Wednesday, April 22, All day

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with the Florida Museum of Natural History and the University of Florida Thompson Earth Systems Institute from the comfort of your home. This free, virtual event allows participants to take part through Zoom webinars including a discussion about “The Materialists” podcast with its hosts and an engaging “Science off Tap” on Florida freshwater fishes. Registration is free, but required for each activity. For a schedule and to sign up, visit www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/event/earth-day .
Call for Presenters: Santa Fe College IPDC Webinar Series
Every Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

The  Santa Fe College IPDC 2020 Webinar Series  will start in April offering our Partners the unique opportunity to present their business products and services to the  Santa Fe College IPDC Client companies the University of Florida Innovate network  and the community entrepreneurs at large (Gainesville and surrounding counties).

This opportunity is  free to Partners  and includes virtual networking, a presentation and Q&A. Partners will have the ability to present multiple times throughout the year. 

The IPDC will provide  a Live Stream and Virtual Event Expert at no charge to facilitate, record and distribute the event . We will work with our Partners to  provide social media marketing through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms . The Live Stream and Virtual Event Expert will  work with you in a one-on-one video meeting a week prior to your webinar  to ensure accurate delivery of your presentation to our audience. 
Presentations will be offered every  Wednesday from 10:30 am to 11:30 am. The first step to participate is to submit your presentation(s) idea(s) and schedule your event(s)   by clicking  here .
Big Brothers Big Sisters launches programs in Alachua County

April 8, 2020 — Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s oldest and largest youth mentoring organization, has announced that it will begin matching adult volunteers with deserving youth in the Gainesville area, effective immediately.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alachua County, an affiliate of the BBBS of Tampa Bay agency, is seeking adults (called Bigs) and children (called Littles) who are interested in participating in the Community-based Program, where volunteer role models are matched one-on-one with children who have similar interests or backgrounds. 

“I’m thrilled that Big Brothers Big Sisters will be able to offer its outstanding services to the Gainesville community,” said Graham Glover, Program Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alachua County and a Gainesville native. “We are overwhelmed with the positive response we have received from community leaders and look forward – particularly in these uncertain times – of providing a safe and first-rate mentoring program for our youth.”

Traditionally, in the Community-based Program the Bigs visit their Littles a couple of times per month to participate in activities they both enjoy. However, to comply with the current guidelines relating to the COVID-19 crisis, all match communications for now are being held electronically via text messages, emails or video chats.

In preparation for the program launch, the agency has secured a strong base of local financial and institutional support. It plans to expand its services to include the Site-based Program – where Bigs and Littles meet once a week at the child’s elementary or middle school – at the start of the 2020-2021 academic year.

“Gainesville is currently Florida’s largest metropolitan area that does not have access to the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs” said Stephen Koch, President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, “so we are delighted that we can fill that void. Children are not immune to the questions and stress of the current situation, and there’s no better time than now to provide them with a trusted, caring adult friend. We are also very proud that our mentoring programs here are supported by the Children’s Trust of Alachua County.”

The safety of the Littles and Bigs is the agency’s top priority. The volunteer mentors undergo extensive background checks, individual interviews and mentor training. The children, who must be between the ages of 5-13 to get initially matched, and their parents are also screened and interviewed and must be accepted into the program. 

The one-on-one relationships typically ignite positive outcomes for the children and youth. In 2019, 99 percent of the Littles who had been in the program for at least a year were promoted to the next grade level, and 97 percent had no involvement in the juvenile justice system.

If you are interested in being a Big, or signing up your child as a Little, please contact Graham Glover at  grahamg@bbbstampabay.org . Potential Bigs are also invited to attend a virtual Orientation & Training session, the first step in the enrollment process, from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22. You can connect to that orientation by clicking on  https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/829925917
Join us in welcoming the following businesses who made the decision to join our Chamber in March 2020 and support our local business community.

Spin City Laundry
The Richardson Group 352
Contempo Creations & Design
Verdex Construction, LLC
4th Ave Food Park
Fiore Tax Services
Education Station & Preschool Tech City
Xceed Sports Performance
True North FL Inc
Landmark Mortgage Planners
VITAS Healthcare


A Candies Limo and Charter Bus
Action Labor
ADT Security Services, Inc.
Allen Law Firm, P.A.
Alzheimer's Association
American Cancer Society
Ameriprise Financial Services
AMJ, Inc. of Gainesville
CenterState Bank - Gainesville 
Child Advocacy Center, Inc.
Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish, Realtors
Compass Self Storage
Drummond Community Bank
Easton Newberry Archery Center
Florida Capital Bank, NA
Florida Express Environmental, LLC
Florida Pest Control
Florida Wildlife Care Center, Inc
Full Circle Cycle Studio
Fun State Pool Service
Futch's Marine Depot
Henderson Engineering, Inc.
Holiday Inn University Center - Gainesville
Keg of Laughs Comedy LLC
Knights Inn
Malcom Randall VA Medical Center
McDavid, Jones & Company, CPAs
McGriff-Williams Insurance
neutral7 Design Group
Northwestern Mutual
Parrish McCall Constructors, Inc.
Pinner's Fine Shoes
Raichel to the Rescue
Saliwanchik, Lloyd & Eisenschenk
Southern Scholarship Foundation
Stephen J Kaufman Public Relations
Sweetwater Branch Inn
The Climb for Cancer Foundation
The Trophy Shop
Tioga Realty
Titan MRI
Touching Hearts at Home
Treweek Insurance Agency, LLC
Tyler's Hope for a Dystonia Cure
United Country Real Estate Property and AuctionsVolkswagen of Gainesville