A 5-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce
April 7, 2020
The following is our latest on coronavirus response and news:

  • COUNTY COMMISSION VIRTUAL MEETING TOMORROW: The Alachua County Commission will meet virtually on Tuesday at 3 p.m. on Cox Channel 12, Facebook Live and the County website to consider amendments to their emergency order.

  • MICROLOAN RESOURCES: Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) today announced that it will suspend initial fees for its Microfinance Guarantee Program to support Florida’s small business community impacted by COVID-19. EFI manages the Microfinance Guarantee Program designed to stimulate access to credit for entrepreneurs and small businesses in this state by providing targeted loan guarantees to lenders made to such entrepreneurs and small businesses. This program provides guarantees up to 50% on loans of $250,000 or less.  

  • FLASH POLL: Florida's Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees is asking Floridians to participate in a two-minute flash poll. Dr. Rivkees and other state leaders plan to use the answers to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Fun fact: Dr. Rivkees served as Physician-in-Chief of UF Health Shands Children's Hospital before his current post - let's help out a fellow Gator by taking a moment to take this quick survey!

  • MOBILE BEHAVIOR RESPONSE TEAMS: Meridian Behavioral Mobile Response Teams are now open to all ages within Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee, and Union counties, who are in need of 24/7 crisis intervention services.

  • PAPER UNEMPLOYMENT FORMS: Reemployment Assistance Forms are now available on paper. Anyone can complete, print and mail this digital PDF if they have been unable to complete the form on DEO’s website. State officials are increasing the number of staffers who are able to assist by phone and review paper applications by over 2,000. 

  • INFECTION RATES BY COUNTY: COVID-19 infection rate data is now available by zip code at this link. Once you navigate to the page, look at the bottom of the page and click the fourth tab, “Cases by Zip Code.”


  • FLORIDA CHAMBER WEBINAR: Tuesday, Apr. 7, 10 a.m. - Florida Chamber of Commerce President Mark Wilson and Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish will provide their latest perspectives on Florida's health scare, the infodemic, the resulting recession, and the Florida Chamber's Economic Recovery Strikeforce. Register here.

  • VISIT FLORIDA WEBINAR: Wednesday, April 8, 10:00 a.m. - Join KeyData Dashboard for an interactive webinar to look at the live trends we’re seeing in booking activity, occupancy, and rates across the entire State of Florida. The webinar will include data broken down by different Florida regions, and will look at how far into the future cancelations are going and what types of properties are being impacted the most. Register here.

  • GAINESVILLE BLACK PROFESSIONALS VIRTUAL MOVERS & SHAKERS MIXER: Thursday, Apr. 9, 6 p.m. - We know that small business owners and professionals are the heart of our economy and it is up to us to protect and support one another. Join us to connect, communicate and collaborate as we seek to support our local businesses! 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.

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.

  • Meridian Behavioral Mobile Response Teams are now open to all ages within Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee, and Union counties, who are in need of 24/7 crisis intervention services.
  • Afternoon Restaurant is offering free meals to out-of-work hospitality workers on Wednesday, April 8, from 6 – 7 p.m. To contribute to this effort, go to afternoontogo.com and choose to “gift a meal.”
  • Hello Branding now is offering sales of antibacterial hand sanitizer gel in 1 oz., 2 oz. or 4 oz. bottles. This hand sanitizer meets CDC regulations and kills 99.9% of germs.
  • EGX Chemical is producing virucide that kills COVID-19 on surfaces.
  • Aquility Systems is offering its machinery and talent to assist in any organization wishing to help produce resources for the community in response to COVID-19. If your organization is interested, reach out to Hollye Merton at hmerton@aquilitysystems.com.
  • The WHOA GNV Podcast is releasing the “Coronavirus Sessions” every weekday at noon to share how Gainesville business owners and professionals are navigating their companies through this trying time. By learning from one another, supporting each other, and encouraging each other, we will make it through. Are you a business owner interested in being interviewed? Email collin@repaintthewall.com.
  • Dos Mamas Catering is now offering a grab and go lunch menu Monday thru Friday serving the local community.
  • Women’s Lift Lab understands the difficult time many business owners face and the important role exercise plays in stress relief. They have created a free workouts page that will hopefully help you through this time. For help with workouts, staff members are available via email! You can find the workouts at womensliftlab.com/freeworkouts.
  • SCAD Media has created a page to help you find a restaurant with updated hours and deals, available at whatsfordinnergnv.com
  • Student Maid has started a GoFundMe page to help out Gainesville businesses who have struggled due to COVID-19. Resources will be assigned based on need, the organization’s focus on company culture, and the impact on our community.
  • Gonzalo Law is offering a complimentary 30min. consult for companies that that would like a review of their contracts. These are contracts that companies are not able to perform on due to COVID-19 and the state of emergency that has been declared in the U.S. Gonzalo Law is offering them assistance on navigating those contracts during this pandemic. You can find contact info on their site.
  • In light of the recent COVID-19 out break and it’s associated in person limitations, ChayaVeda Integrative Healing Arts will make their tools available to everyone, bringing them to you via zoom. Their next class is Yoga on Thursday April 2, 2020 4:15-5:30pm. A variety of virtual wellness classes and lunch and learns are coming. To join all you need to do is like their page and join the group where Chaya will post the link to the classes and meetings.
  • Gainesville Black Professionals is having a virtual mixer on April 9th with a focus on bringing business owners and professionals together to offer support to each other during this time. The eventbrite page can be found at gbpvirtualmixer.eventbrite.com.
  • The Alachua County Library District has partnered with their eBook vendor to provide access to digital books and audiobooks to Alachua County residents who do not have library cards.Community members can visit aclib.us/OverDrive and enter their mobile phone number to register for OverDrive. After registering, users can download the appropriate app to their smartphones or tablet to access more than 79,000 titles on 132 different topics, including children and teen books. Visit aclib.us/ebook-help for instruction to download the Libby and OverDrive apps to read or listen to books on tablets and phones.
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”
Have you been counted yet?
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 5 th , Alachua County can boast a 46% completion rate, based on those who completed the census via the internet or over the phone. That is ahead of both Florida as a whole, at 43.6%, and the nation, at 45.1%. 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!
Meaningful and Necessary Virtual Seminars
Tuesday, April 14 and Wednesday, April 22, 3 - 4:30 p.m.

On April 14 and 22, the University of Florida Office of Professional and Workforce Development is offering two exceptional virtual sessions: Skills to Stay Motivated and Focused, 4/14 and Innovative Solutions when Everything Changes (4/22) 

These 90-minute sessions run from 3:00-4:30 and offer important business management tools you can use during these unprecedented times. 

"Skills to Stay Motivated and Focused": During a time of crisis it’s critical to stay motivated in order to influence others. 

Take-aways include how to: 
• Create new mental routines, as habitual creatures simply adapting new routines can exponentially influence our outcomes
• Create a willingness-attitude, a willingness to look at things from a different perspective-it is how we let go of the old and work successfully with the “new normal”
• Utilize the Minute-by-Minute philosophy. It is essential to focus on the present, and that can be a challenge. Learn techniques to maintain present focus in order to be more energized and productive
• Let go of fear and generate appreciation in order to attract opportunities

"Innovative Solutions when Everything Changes": With a new normal, how can we become more innovative and solution-driven. 

Take-aways include how to:
• Use Idea Sprinting to formulate ideas in directions you’ve never thought of, to come up with new solutions
• Learn an innovative formula for questioning assumptions and how to create predetermined criteria to test new ideas
• Understand the language you’re thinking, taking out expressions like “It is what it is” or “that’s just nonsense”
• Create new approaches to creative solutions i.e. can it extend the customer experience or help you socialize in new ways with your customer/client

For more information, contact Laurie Brown at  lpbrown@ufl.edu.