A 5-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce
February 23, 2020
Live Stream our 97th Annual Meeting!  
Thursday, February 25, 2 - 4 p.m.

The Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce is hosting our 2021 Annual Meeting next Thursday, February 25!

Join us as we celebrate the progress, prosperity and perseverance through adversity of our members and our community in 2020 while sharing our vision for 2021. 

We will honor our outgoing Chair, Nancy Eckert and officially pass the gavel to new board Chair, Gil Levy of VyStar Credit Union. Community leaders will be honored with the prestigious annual awards including the Chairman’s Award, President's Award, Gainesville Citizens of the Year, Rotary Business in Ethics Award and Diplomat of the Year.

This event is a hybrid event, with restricted in-person attendance. The event will be live-streamed for the public to watch on our YouTube page.

For event questions, please contact tiffany@gainesvillechamber.com. For sponsorship opportunities please contact Steve Cannon at stevec@gainesvillechamber.com.
Award Sponsor
Corporate Sponsor
TODAY: Jumpstart Your Membership
Tuesday, February 23, 9 - 10 a.m.
Join us for a virtual presentation on your chamber membership! 

Whether you are a new member or looking to get re-engaged, we are here to share some information & help you get more out of your chamber membership. We will also show how to navigate our online portal for your membership.

Learn more about your membership and meet other Greater Gainesville Chamber members. Thank you to BBVA for sponsoring the JumpStart Your Membership Event!
Sponsored by
Oakmont/ICI Homes Groundbreaking tomorrow
Wednesday, February 24, 11 a.m.
Oakmont Subdivision
11701 SW 30th Avenue, Gainesville

Join us as ICI Homes breaks ground on a 47 acre reserve at Oakmont for the Gopher Tortoises and other natural Flora and Fauna.

ICI Homes is continually ranked among the nation's Top 100 Builders, a prestigious annual survey published by Builder magazine. Established in 1980 and headquartered in Daytona Beach, FL, ICI Homes has always been at the forefront of the industry as the standard-bearer of excellence.
2021 Sponsorships & Advertising Options Available! Announce Your Support for the Gainesville Business Community

Sponsorship and partnership opportunities with the Greater Gainesville Chamber are some of the best ways for your business to gain exposure in the Gainesville region. By aligning your business with a 5-star chamber of commerce with sponsorship or advertising, you help immediately grow your company’s prestige, reputation, exposure and bottom line.

Click here to view the full overview of sponsorship and partnership opportunities available for 2021.

For 2021 marketing and exposure opportunities, contact Steve Cannon, VP Member Development, at SteveC@gainesvillechamber.com or call 352-334-7127.
Tune in for the State of the City 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 4 p.m.

The City of Gainesville is premiering its virtual 2021 State of the City Address at 4 p.m. tomorrow, February 24, on the City of Gainesville Facebook page, its website and Community 12TV (Cox channel 12).  The annual tradition, which began in 2005, is an opportunity for city leaders and elected officials to celebrate our community, recognize recent accomplishments and identify challenges as we work to make Gainesville an equitable community for all.

This year, the keynote will be presented in video format and will feature appearances from each member of the City Commission, community leaders, community builders and our neighbors. Keep an eye out for our very own President and CEO, Eric Godet!
Ways to watch:
Community 12TV (Cox channel 12)
This week's news with Senator Perry
The deadline to register is Today, February 16
Each week, Sen. Keith Perry distributes an e-newsletter to keep the community up to date. Check out the most current issue to learn more about Sen. Perry's current legislative initiatives. If you're not signed up to receive the newsletter, sign up here. 

Read here.
Apply now to Lockheed Martin scholarship programs
Deadlines to apply: March 11 and April 1

The Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship Program is open to students pursuing bachelor's degrees in engineering, computer science or physics who demonstrate need and come from underrepresented or underserved communities. Up to 200 renewable scholarships of $10,000 each are offered for full-time study at a U.S. accredited four-year institution. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2021.

The Lockheed Martin Vocational Scholarship Program is open to students pursuing associate degrees, credit-bearing certificates or industry-recognized credentials in technology and advanced manufacturing disciplines. Up to 150 scholarships of $6,600 each are offered for study at a U.S. accredited vocational-technical school, trade school, two-year community college or state college. The deadline to apply is March 11, 2021.
District’s Sunshine State Scholars want to spark love of STEM in children
Buchholz High School junior Jeffrey Xue and Eastside High School senior Bill Zhao are both passionate about STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math). They both also recognize that many other students don’t share their enthusiasm and want to change that.
“We need our future generations to be more involved and invested in stem to unlock our true potential as a nation,” said Xu. “It’s our responsibility as their community, their teachers and their peers to expose them to STEM early on to develop their interest and to provide a pathway for their careers.”
“The greatest challenge America has in the STEM-related fields is the disparity in STEM achievement based on socio-economic status,” said Zhao. “We have to close the gap in achievement and provide a level playing field for everyone who wishes to pursue STEM.”
Both Zhao and Xue have been recognized as Sunshine State Scholars—Zhao for 2020, Xue for 2021. The Scholar program was established more than twenty years ago to recognize Florida’s top 100 11th-graders for outstanding STEM achievement. The award criteria include advanced coursework and grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, awards and honors earned and an essay.
FBC hosting Post-Covid lecture series
Wednesday, February 24, 7 p.m.

First Baptist Church, Gainesville, Florida announces a Lenten Lecture Series entitled “Beyond the Wilderness – Post Covid Life.” Live on Zoom, the first lecture begins at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 24, with subsequent lectures each Wednesday at the same time for the next 4 weeks. 

“How has Covid impacted the worlds of our families, churches, and community? What will returning to a post-pandemic world look like? How will the pandemic end? These are a few of the defining questions that led us to create our ‘Beyond the Wilderness’ lecture series,” Dr. Spivey, First Baptist Church’s Senior Pastor states. “As the pandemic begins to break up, we want to prepare our families and community for what comes next.” 

The “Beyond the Wilderness” lecture series brings together experts in their fields from around the country. 

Rev. Mark Tidsworth, founder and CEO of Pinnacle Leadership Associates and national church consultant, will speak on February 24 on the impact of Covid on local churches. Looking ahead, he will offer a vision of the lessons churches have learned during the pandemic that will guide their ministry in the 2020’s. 

March 3: Dr. David Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University, speaking about post-covid culture
March 10: Rev. Andrea Cook, Pastoral Counselor, speaking on the impact of Covid on our families and relationships
March 17: Dr. Steven Porter, Global Missions Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, will speak on March 17 on the pandemic’s impact on Christian mission
March 24: Dr. Michael Lauzardo, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine, University of Florida, speaking on “How will the Pandemic End.”

This lecture series will be FREE to the Gainesville and larger community. To participate in the lecture series, please register on Zoom to receive your zoom link. 

For more information, including detailed bios for each lecturer, please visit the First Baptist Church Gainesville website at https://fbcgainesville.net/life-beyond-the-wilderness-lecture-series.
Global Supply Chains: An Interconnected World
Tuesday, February 23, Noon - 2 pm
Join the UF Center for European Studies for "Global Supply Chains: An Interconnected World." The speakers in this series of lightning talks will discuss supply chains and logistics as related to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Each speaker will provide information on their region of expertise, while underlining the interdependency of the global system. As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, shortages or interruptions of the supply chain affect communities around the globe, making an understanding of global supply chains and logistics even more relevant in our contemporary world.
Lightning talks:
12:00pm EST: How the Virus of Disruption Spreads in European Supply Chains; Artur Swierczek, University of Economics in Katowice
12:20pm EST: The UAE - Its Positioning as a Financial and Logistics Hub; Howard Leedham, MBE, Consilium World Consulting
12:40pm EST: Supply Chain Disruptions in the Context of Global COVID-19 in Slovak Republic ; Lenka Veselovská, Matej Bel University
1:00pm EST: From Vision to Reality: The Operationalization of Sustainability; Natalie Huang, University of Minnesota
1:20pm EST: Accessible, Affordable & Hands-on: Follow the Supply Chain Study Abroad to Vietnam; Sam Kaplan, Highline College
1:40pm EST: May the Force Be With You - Helping Minority Entrepreneurs Succeed; Ravi Norman, Norman Global Enterprises
This event is sponsored by the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, the Center for European Studies at the University of Florida, Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota, and the Center for Global Studies at the University of Washington.
This event is free and open to the public.
LifeSouth in Emergency Need as Blood Supply Depletes
LifeSouth faces an emergency need for blood donors as usage at local hospitals has increased over the past two weeks, while donations have declined. Blood shortages remain a national concern, due to the severe winter weather that continues to impact the country.
LifeSouth asks all blood donors, especially type O, to please come in and donate and reminds the public that it is safe to donate blood.
Type O negative donors are the universal donor and can give to patients of all blood types. This is important when an accident or trauma victim comes into the hospital and there is not time to determine a blood type. Type O positive is the most transfused blood type and is also critical to help trauma patients.
LifeSouth is a non-profit community blood center serving UF Health, North Florida Regional Medical Center and the VA Hospital.
All blood donors receive a wellness screening prior to donation, and each donation will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. To find a blood drive close to you or to learn more about the donation process or make an appointment, visit www.lifesouth.org or call LifeSouth’s toll-free number, 1-888-795-2707.
UF Big Event to take place March 20
Saturday, March 20, 8 a.m. - Noon

The Big Event is a citywide service day led by University of Florida students. The day kicks off with an opening ceremony, followed by UF students performing three-to-four-hour service projects across Gainesville – all “For The Gator Good!”

There are four main goals of The Big Event:
  1. Build a better Gainesville through creating stronger bonds between University of Florida students and faculty with all parts of Gainesville.
  2. Revolutionize the term “community service” to represent giving back to not just one aspect of the community, but the entire community.
  3. Physically build a safer, more beautiful, and ultimately better community through various projects around Gainesville.
  4. Give students the opportunity to show their appreciation for the City of Gainesville and all the support it shows the University of Florida.

Become a Sponsor for The Big Event:

Partners of The Big Event will contribute monetary or in-kind donations towards the planning and implementation of this special day. In return, sponsors will obtain varying levels of advertisement for their respective business or organization. Every dollar given brings us a little closer to building a better Gainesville. If you are interested in sponsoring The Big Event, you can do so by contacting Zachary Perez or Kristin Driver at thebigevent@sg.ufl.edu.
EPIC grant program for community networks
Deadline to apply: Thursday, March 5

A broadband grant is open for applications through March 5, 2021. The $1 million Expanding Potential in Communities (EPIC) Grant program is funded by Truist Bank and administered by the Internet Society. This program provides grants for eligible communities across the southeast United States, including Florida, ranging from $125,000-180,000. 
Non-profit organizations, local governments, municipalities, townships, public-private partnerships, and cooperative organizations are eligible to apply for the Truist EPIC Grant. The grant is geared towards networks that serve low-income communities with significant Black, Indigenous, and diverse populations. Grant funding may be used to build a new network or expand an existing one.
Applicants must meet the following “Eligibility Criteria” to be considered for a grant:
  • Timeframe – project must show tangible results* within a year of receiving funding. Funding will occur in two stages between April and December 2021.
  • Bandwidth – project must provide a minimum broadband threshold for deployment.
  • Applicant must have an official bank account in their name (based on their legal registration) in order to be eligible for a grant.
Grant proposals who meet the minimum eligibility above will be reviewed against the following criteria:
  • Dedicated local champion 
  • Community-backed support 
  • Sustainability plan 
  • Minimum bandwidth requirements 
  • Availability of local tech partners (ISP, IXP) 
  • Financial management skills 
  • Digital literacy 
  • Low barrier from local laws – low license fees 
  • Available spectrum (low fees) 
  • End user hardware available (phone, computer, WiFi router) 
  • Power infrastructure for towers 
  • Local infrastructure for deployment (schools, libraries) 
  • Target demographic impacted
SURVEY: Understanding Florida's Changing Workforce Needs
Have you taken the 2021 Florida Chamber Workforce Needs Survey?
Prior to COVID-19, Florida employers told us a skilled workforce was the top priority for 2020. A high-quality workforce is Florida’s best long-term economic development strategy and is crucial to becoming the 10th largest economy in the world by 2030. 
The Florida Chamber need your help to understand your company’s evolving workforce needs and the impact the pandemic is having on your recruiting and training goals. If you have not already done so, please take 5 minutes to complete the 2021 Workforce Needs Survey. The results of the survey will be incorporated into the Florida Chamber Foundation’s 2021 Florida Workforce Needs Study.
To begin, please select from one of the 8 categories below that best represents your business's industry. *If your industry is not listed, please click here.*
Thank you in advance for your participation and for helping secure Florida's future!