January 23, 2019
City Commission Passes Plastic Bag and Styrofoam Ban
Commissioners will discuss a waiver provision for certain businesses during their first March meeting.

The City Commission last week passed an  ordinance  banning single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam containers. The ban will take effect August 1.

During its first March meeting, the City Commission will specifically discuss whether to amend the ordinance to include a hardship waiver for businesses with less than $500,000 in annual revenue per location, a provision for which the Chamber and multiple businesses have advocated, and that was included in the initial draft of the ordinance.

Exemptions that did make it into the ordinance that was passed include bags used for laundry, dry cleaning, fruits and vegetables inside the grocery store and for prescriptions at the pharmacy. The Commission has also added a $250 fine for each offense, and will apply the ban to both for-profit and non-profit businesses.

If you are in favor of seeing the ordinance amended to include a hardship waiver, please contact City Commissioners to let them know.

For your convenience, Commissioners' email addresses are below:

When details relating to the March meeting become available, we will share them with you. In the meantime, if you have questions, please feel free to email  Senior Director of Public Affairs Alyssa Brown  or  Grassroots Engagement Manager Vicki Gervickas.
Chamber Business After Hours hosted by Florida Credit Union
Thursday, January 24, 5:30pm
Hotel Indigo at Celebration Pointe
5020 SW 30th Lane, Gainesville

Join us next Thursday at 5:30PM for Business After Hours at Hotel Indigo located in Celebration Point.  Enjoy food, drinks, door prizes and great company. Door prizes will include signed Gator Memorabilia as well as Free 1 Night Stays at Hotel Indigo.

This event is sponsored by Florida Credit Union.

Expand your business network and unwind after work by connecting with other busy professionals in a relaxed environment. Business After Hours are held at Greater Gainesville Chamber member business locations and feature networking, refreshments, giveaways and the opportunity to discover unique local businesses.  Attendees build valuable new contacts and make new friends, so be sure to bring plenty of business cards and come ready to have fun!

Admission is Free for Greater Gainesville Chamber Members and their employees.   Admission for Non-Members and Guests is $20.00

We hope to see you there!

Click Here for more information and to register to attend.
Hotworx Ribbon Cutting Celebration
Friday, January 25, 4 - 6pm
3265 SW 34th Street, Gainesville

Join us this Friday, January 25th as we celebrate Hotworx becoming a part of the Greater Gainesville community and the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce!

Hotworx Gainesville opened in July 2018.  They are a 24 hour infrared fitness studio. Hotworx is a virtually instructed exercise program created for users to experience the many benefits of infrared heat absorption, while completing a 30-minute isometric workout or 15-minute High Intensity Interval Training session.
They will have giveaways, tours, snacks and more at the event. Join us as we welcome Hotworx to the Greater Gainesville community!

Ribbon cutting ceremony will commence at 4:45pm.

Click Here for more information.
Join us for the Ribbon Cutting Celebration at Aloft Hotel
Wednesday, January 30, 5 - 7:30pm
Aloft Hotel
3743 Hull Road, Gainesville

Join us Wednesday, January 30 as we celebrate Aloft Hotel becoming a part of the Greater Gainesville community. Aloft is a different kind of hotel bringing urban sensibility, heightened design and thoughtful experience to a select service environment. They're bright, bold lovers of music, technology and design, moving to their own beat as they make their way through the world.

There will be drinks, hors d'oeuvres, giveaways, tours, live music and more! You won't want to miss out on this "smashing" good time!

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will commence at 5:45pm.

Click Here for more information.
2019 Annual Meeting tickets on sale NOW!
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Hilton University of Florida Conference Center
1714 SW 34th St, Gainesville

The Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce is excited to be hosting our 95th Annual Meeting on January 31. 

Join us as we share the stories of progress and prosperity from our members and our community. We’ll hear from partners of the talent, tech, economic development, arts, and education sectors. 

Cocktail attire is appropriate and dancing is expected as we welcome our special guests  The Savants of Soul to close out the evening. 
Click here to buy tickets.

For event questions please contact  tiffany@gainesvillechamber.com. For sponsorship opportunities please contact Steve Cannon at steve@gainesvillechamber.com.
Public Safety Job Fair at Santa Fe College
Thursday, January 31, 2 - 6pm
Santa Fe College
3000 NW 83rd Street, Room 0001, Gainesville

The public is invited! Positions advertised include: police officers, firefighters, corrections officers, dispatchers, police service techs, forensic specialists, EMTs, paramedics and more.

Invited agencies: Alachua Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff, UF Police Department, Santa Fe College Police Department, Santa Fe Institute of Public Safety, Florida Department of Corrections, Gainesville Fire Rescue, Alachua County Fire Rescue, Brothers in Action Firefighters, High Springs Police Department, FSU Police Department, West Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, Broward County Sheriff.
Wal-Staf Top "Try them before you hire them" Candidates List

This is only a sample of some of the outstanding employees Wal-Staf Personnel Services has recently brought on board, screened and ready to go to work at your location!

  • 70606S Office Manager available in Gainesville experienced in HR and dealing with Government Contracts, proficient with Excel, Power Point, Windows and Word.
  • #70763D Handyman in Lake City with previous construction, building maintenance, sheet metal, and trim carpentry experience.
  • #58712S Administrative Assistant in Gainesville experienced with Accounts Receivables and Accounts Payables, worked as Policy Analyst for a large Insurance company and worked as a dispatcher for a well-known repair service. 
  • #70596D High Energy Cashier with top notch customer service skills available in Lake City.
  • #1135C  General Laborer in Gainesville with warehouse, forklift, pallet jack and inventory experience, who reads blueprints and can work any day, any shift. 
  • #70611S Building Maintenance worker available in Gainesville experienced with painting, carpeting and tiling work.
  • #70575D Administrative Assistant in Lake City with 18 years’ experience in customer service, inventory control, invoicing and accounts receivables who types 56 WPM and has a 10 key score of 11,220 KPH.
  • #70591S Warehouse Employee in Gainesville with CNC and Forklift experience available for 1st or 3rd shift.
  • #70600C Former postal worker with janitorial experience available in Gainesville.
  • #70563D Skilled Maintenance person in Lake City with experience in construction, sheet metal, painting, trim carpentry, and some HVAC and electrical experience who has tools.
  • #70610S Customer Service Representative in Lake City experienced working with Rent-A-Car agencies, proficient with Microsoft Office Suites.
  • #58085D General Laborer in Lake City with fork lift experience and heavy equipment skills.
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 above:
  1. log on towww.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”
Join us on February 11 for our Distinguished Speaker Luncheon featuring GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski

We are delighted to welcome to the Chamber GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski as our Distinguished Speaker on Monday, February 11, from 11:30 am to 1:15 pm. Ed will discuss plans and priorities for the utility and a Q&A will follow his remarks. This member-exclusive event includes a buffet lunch. These popular luncheons fill up quickly - register here !
SharpSpring Expands to Celebration Pointe, Adding 50 Full-Time Employees in 2018

SharpSpring (NASDAQ: SHSP), developer of a marketing automation platform headquartered in Gainesville, FL, has doubled in size since 2017. The publicly-traded company serves marketing agencies and small to mid-sized businesses here in the US and around the world.

In addition to doubling their team, SharpSpring recently almost doubled their office space from 14,000 sf to 25,000sq. ft. via their move to the 5001 Building in Celebration Pointe located in Greater Gainesville.

“Gainesville has the feel of a  university  town coupled with a thriving business community. The abundant nature helps too. Great preservation has ensured a lot of green access for us throughout the community,” according to SharpSpringers.

Spring to add almost 50 new full-time positions in 2018 and they forecast this growth trend to continue in 2019.

Just a few years ago, the company had four people in their Gainesville office, previously located downtown. They’ve jumped to 190 and have their sights set on 240 by the end of 2019.

“SharpSpring is one of those local success stories you can’t help but brag about; homegrown out of the Hub at UF, now publicly traded and having a global impact,” Eric Godet, Sr., Greater Gainesville Chamber’s President and CEO said.

“SharpSpring’s story really showcases that Gainesville has the right environment and tools for a high-growth startup to be successful,” Vice President of Economic Development at the Greater Gainesville Chamber Staci Bertrand added.

In addition to employment and facility growth, SharpSpring invested $425,000 in their 2018 expansion.
Finalists named for Alachua County Teacher of the Year honors

Three teachers have been named finalists for Alachua County Teacher of the Year, and one of them will go on to represent the district in the Florida Teacher of the Year program.

Geoffery Bramlett is the media specialist at Alachua Elementary School. He actually taught at Ft. Clarke Middle School for nearly twenty years before making the switch to elementary school in 2017.  He says his experience at the middle school level shapes what he teaches the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at his school.

Laura Wykoff has taught for more than ten years, with all but one of those years spent teaching middle school students. She currently teaches seventh- and eighth-grade mathematics at Ft. Clarke Middle, where she’s been a member of the faculty since 2015. Despite her years of experience, Wykoff says she’s always updating her methods.

Maria Zelaya has been teaching Spanish at Eastside High School since 2008. She’s also taught at other high schools in North Central Florida, and in the past has worked as a part time faculty member at Santa Fe College and as a teaching and research assistant at the University of Florida. Zelaya’s been recognized by the U.S. State Department for her success at infusing global education in her classes and has made numerous presentations to fellow teachers on the subject. 

The three finalists and 37 other nominees from Alachua County Public Schools will be honored at the annual Alachua County Teacher of the Year ceremony, which is organized and hosted by The Education Foundation. All the honorees will receive a cash award and other gifts donated by the community. After being introduced by their students, each of the three finalists will speak to the audience of about 500 people.
Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center Opening Gala
Saturday, February 2, 6:30 - 10pm
Cotton Club Museum & Cultural Center
837 SE 7th Ave, Gainesville

The Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center will host its first semi-formal gala to introduce the community to the revitalized Cotton Club site! The event is on Saturday, February 2, 2019, at 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm. They will have a swing dance contest; exhibits; a live band; and a silent auction!

The event will be at the Cotton Club Museum & Cultural Center 837 SE 7th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601.

For tickets, go to www.cottonclubmuseum.com .

For sponsorship, email Deloris Rentz by clicking here.
Alachua County invited to share views on health and healthcare

Alachua County residents, healthcare and social services providers, businesses and faith-based organizations are invited to share their views about health and healthcare in the county by taking a 10-minute survey. Participants will have the opportunity to win a $30 gift card.

The surveys are available at www.WellFlorida.org (select “Survey”). To receive a printed version of the surveys, or for additional information regarding the surveys, call or email Chris Abarca at  cabarca@wellflorida.org  or 352-727-3767.

The survey will be open from Jan. 15 to March 2. Survey results, along with research and health related data, will be used to assess the region’s most pressing health needs. This information will be made available in summer 2019 in the report Alachua County Community Health Needs Assessment.

WellFlorida, the local health council and consultant for health causes, is conducting the community health surveys. The project is funded by the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County and UF Health Shands Hospital.
The Countertop: the foundation of kitchen decor

The countertop is an essential component of the kitchen. It is where all the action takes place. 

But more than that, the countertop is the foundation of kitchen décor when doing a kitchen renovation. It bares the burden of setting the tone and feel of the space.

Because your kitchen countertop endures a lot of use, it should be above all practical, but that doesn't mean it can't be aesthetically pleasing as well. It's important to strike that perfect balance between style and function, which is why durability, visual appeal and ease of maintenance are among the top three 
guiding factors for choosing the right counter. As you remodel your kitchen, consider all the materials. 

Jackson Stoneworks can help educate or help you with your next kitchen project. We’re located at 1111 S.E. 22 Ave. Gainesville, FL 32641. With your visit, Jackson Stoneworks will give you a free Granite Lazy Susan of your choice.
New Members

Alliance Pediatrics, PA


Edward Jones- Bill Bush

Little Guys Movers

Network Cabling Services, Inc.

Quality Inn

Real Rosewood Foundation, Inc

Successful Retirement Secrets

Urologic Integrated Care - Dr. Victoria Bird

Renewing Members

America's Home Place

Banta Properties

Bounds Heating and Air

Central Florida Drywall and
Plastering, Inc.

Chance, Ramona M.

Comfort Temp - CT Mechanical

Creative Counseling Services

Crime Prevention Security Systems

David's Real Pit BBQ West

Direct Auto & Life Insurance

Florida Wildlife Care Center, Inc

George F. Young, Inc.

JBrown Professional Group

Merry Maids of Gainesville, FL

Park Avenue Dental

Publix Super Markets, Inc. (Corporate)

Rebuilding Together North Central Florida

Regions Bank - Archer Road

Santa Fe College Foundation

Success In Accounting

SunTrust Bank, North Central Florida

Suwannee Valley Feeds, LLC

The Windsor