Economic Development News
Join us for
October 13th, 3:00 - 4:30pm | Register here to RSVP
Relaunch Together is the theme for the next Collaborate 2025 Investors meeting. During this virtual event the Greater Gainesville Chamber will be updating our investors on ongoing economic development projects, providing economic forecasting for the upcoming year and presenting updates on the current economic development strategy. Register here to RSVP.
Presented by:
If you’d like to get involved in the development of the Greater Gainesville Region, please reach out to Staci Bertrand, our VP of Economic Development at
Rapid Fire Success Stories
University of Florida hits record $900 million in research awards - University of Florida faculty earned a record $900.7 million in research funding in fiscal year 2020, despite many activities being paused for more than two months by the pandemic.
The total is a 16% increase over last year and surpasses the previous record of $837 million set two years ago by more than $63 million. Over the past 10 years, research awards to the university have increased 45% from $619 million in 2011.
Gainesville Black Professionals launched its “Minority Business Directory” this month that features more than 100 businesses in various indistries, including real estate, clothing, beauty, food, fitness, finance, healthcare and more.
Virginia Grant, executive director of GBP, said she has seen an increase of businesses being added to the website since it launch on Aug. 5.
“I have seen an increase in subscriptions and an increase in traffic on the website,” Grant said. “It definitely piqued the interest of our community.” Learn more here.
Nick Banks of Avision Young was interviewed for a Loopnet article that highlights the Greater Gainesville Region. The following is a clip from the article:
“What we have experienced over time here in Gainesville is that the whole sector has grown from these small incubated companies into an ecosystem that now represents thousands of jobs and about 750,000 square feet of biotech and life sciences space,” says Banks. His firm works locally with owners of these types of companies to find space, developers looking to build medical-technology workspaces, and owners/landlords looking to lease out lab space. You can read the rest of the article here.
Ology Bioservices Inc., a biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), announced today it has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The contract ceiling value is $106.3 million, of which $53.1 million was obligated at the time of award.
In this program, Ology Bioservices will manage the reservation of production capacity of approximately 186,840,000 doses of critical vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19. This work is in support of the Operation Warp Speed response to the ongoing pandemic. Learn more here.
Huge congratulations are in order for two UF startups! Agriculture Intelligence & Structured Monitoring Products are the Cade Museum’s Cade Prize finalists! Final judging will be on September 30 to award five prizes totalling $50,000. Learn more here.
Greater Gainesville based Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq: AGTC), a biotechnology company conducting human clinical trials of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies for the treatment of rare diseases, announced the launch of an innovative mobile vision testing program to conduct follow-up assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic for patients enrolled in the Company’s ongoing clinical trials. Learn more here.
With the GNV Cares About Business program, the city has disbursed $5,000 payments to 78 businesses totaling $390,000. The city has they’re finalizing payments to another 24 businesses. Total funding is expected to be at around $500,000 to $550,000.
When it comes to the GNV Cares About Neighbors program, 382 grants have been disbursed to people in Gainesville city limits who have been struggling due to the pandemic. Payments are being finalized to 63 other household and total assistance to date is at $427,334.95. Learn more here.
Infinite Energy scores ranking in Florida's Best Workplaces - One hundred companies from across the state ranked in small, medium and large categories in this year’s listing—Infinite Energy came in 28th for the large business ranking. This year marks the seventh time they've been chosen as one of the state’s best workplaces. See the full ranking here.
Eleven local middle and high school students devoted five weeks this summer to acquiring leadership skills at the first ever virtual Summer Leadership 2020 Institute with participants engaging and interacting via Zoom. Participating students attended virtual training classes from early July through Friday. Cole-Smith said the institute will be offered again next year.
“We saw a need for students to attain specific leadership skills they will use to impact their community and make a difference,” Cole-Smith said. Learn more here.
Santa Fe College reopened on Aug. 24 in “Level 3” of its reopening plan, which includes remote learning for 75% of Fall courses, social distancing in place for on-campus instruction and mandatory masking. For in-person courses, the college reconfigured large spaces, such as its 606-seat Fine Arts Hall, into make-shift classrooms, spreading out students to account for a 6-foot distance, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Learn more about Santa Fe's reopening here.
Governor Ron DeSantis and Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced 60 schools, representing 28 districts in Florida, were chosen to participate in the first phase of the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative (FCDI).
The two Alachua County schools chosen to participate are Kanapaha Middle School and Hawthorne High School.Our district already has some experience with civics competitions. For three years, Alachua County Public Schools have partnered with the League of Women Voters to organize the Civics Challenge. Learn more here.
JJ Finley Elementary is officially named after Gainesville native Carolyn Beatrice Parker - The Alachua county School Board voted unanimously to name the school after Carolyn Beatrice Parker. During World War II, Parker worked on research and development for nuclear weapons as part of the Manhattan Project. According to Williams Parker is the first African American female to have her name on a public school in Alachua County. “To have pictures within the auditorium and the classes with Caolyn Parker's name, that means a lot, not only for the black children, but all the children,” she said. Learn more here.
Nonstop flights from Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) to Miami International Airport (MIA) have resumed after a six-month, COVID-19 related hiatus.
“GNV is pleased to report convenient MIA nonstops are back in the schedule, after an approximate six-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Allan Penksa, CEO, Gainesville Alachua County Regional Airport Authority (GACRAA). Learn more here.
The June Market Report is in and showing some very promising signs. “I’m happy to say that sales are trending in an upward fashion,” said Jeremy Thomas, President of the Gainesville-Alachua County Association of REALTORS (GACAR). Closed sales in June were up 2.9% over June of 2019. Learn more here.
Santa Fe College hosted East Gainsville Initiative (EGI) forum virtually on Thursday, September 24th. The event featured Santa Fe's annual report and updates on the college's recent and future outreach efforts in East Gainesville. Speakers included members of Santa Fe College leadership: Dr. Karen Cole-Smith, EGI Executive Director, Dr. Naima Brown, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dr. Paul Broadie II, President..
Santa Fe College has partnered with the Racial Equity Institute to provide in-depth information on racial equity. Starting Friday at 9 a.m. the Racial Equity Institute presents “Measuring Racial Inequity: A Ground-water Approach.” The full-day presentation is intended as an introduction to the topic. Santa Fe employees and students can register for free, while the public can register for $50. The link to register for the event can be found here.
Dignitaries from the City of Alachua, Greater Gainesville Region and State of Florida came together to officially cut the ribbon and open the county’s first All-Inclusive playground at Legacy Park. As Alachua City Commissioner Dayna Miller said, “All inclusive means that children of all ranges of physical and mental abilities can play together. Special attention was paid to surfaces, equipment, environment and infrastructure.You can learn more here.
Over the summer, Santa Fe College made renovations and enhancements to several areas across the Northwest Campus. One of these areas is the Building I physics lab, which includes expanded and updated science laboratory spaces that better suit modern instructional methods. While construction crews made significant improvements to the plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems, most students, faculty and staff will notice the updated and modernized teaching spaces, as well as state-of-the-art lab equipment and classroom technology. You can learn more here.
The city of Alachua hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the San Felasco Parkway late July, a road that covers 280 acres of land and consists of 12-foot travel lanes, 7-foot bike lanes, and 8-foot wide sidewalks. The roadway was built through a $6.75 million grant from Florida to Alachua’s Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. You can learn more here.
University of Florida Health Shands Hospital emerged as Florida’s top health center and one of the nation’s elite today in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 Best Hospitals survey, with a remarkable nine medical specialties placing in the nation’s Top 50 — more than any other hospital in the Sunshine State. Learn more here.
Two U.S. Navy Veterans open new restaurant called Foc'sle in Downtown Gainesville. Learn more here.
UF Health Shands has been named on two prestigious top 100 hospital lists recognizing the health system’s national excellence. Becker’s Healthcare has named UF Health Shands in its 2020 edition as one of the nation’s “100 great hospitals in America.”And IBM Watson Health announced the health system made the 2020 Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list. Learn more here.
Satchel’s Pizza is a popular Gainesville gem with its pizza, calzones, and quirky art decor. Owner Satchel Raye partnered up with one of his managers, Mark Rodriguez, to open up and be co-owners of a second location named Satch Squared
“So even though we didn’t know about the pandemic when we started our plans, it fits in with the times very well,” Satch Squared Co-Owner Raye said. 
Satch Squared is located at the 4th Avenue Food Park and after a couple months of planning, it opened up in July. Learn more here.
Together GNV is a response to the pandemic put together by the Greater Gainesville Chamber marketing and communications team dedicated to supporting regional businesses. This page provides resources for all the different ways one can provide support to those most impacted.
COVID-19 Updates
If you're looking for reliable updates on the local, state and federal level regarding business in the time of COVID-19, we encourage you to subscribe to the Greater Gainesville Chamber's ejournal if you haven't already. You can sign up here.

Furthermore, we update three key pages with COVID-19 related information every day. Those pages are:
  • Community Updates - A one-stop location for updates impacting the community.
  • Business Updates - Our central repository for business updates during the pandemic.
  • Together - A page devoted to providing resources for providing and/or finding help in a time of need.
Thank you to our investors!