A 5-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce
June 2, 2020
The following is our latest on coronavirus response and news:

  • DAILY PULSE: Today’s Daily Pulse aims to get a sense of how businesses are staffing up as the economy continues its phased reopening process. Give us a sense of how staffed you are at this link 
  • WHAT YOU TOLD US: In response to Friday’s Daily Pulse, which asked what one thing the government could do that would really help your business, 57% of respondents said it could provide additional tax breaks; 14% said it could provide more loans and credit solutions; and 14% said it could protect their business from COVID-related lawsuits. One respondent also chose “other,” and said the one thing government could do to help their business is “open up the economy.” 
  • CENSUS UPDATE: As of May 31st, Alachua County is just a bit under the national average for Census count – 59.8% of us have completed our Census, with the national rate at 60.5% and Florida's overall rate at 57.9%. Let's move that needle, Greater Gainesville! If you haven't completed your Census, take a minute to do it today. If you have, continue to spread the word to your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors.
  • TEAMING UP FOR GOOD: WCJB and Catholic Charities recently collaborated on a telethon that raised over $107,000 to help pay rent, utilities and other essentials for local families affected by COVID. More here.
  • ATHLETES RETURNING TO CAMPUS: In the wake of the Southeastern Conference school presidents' decision to allow voluntary in-person athletics activities back on campuses across the league, the University Athletic Association announced Friday that Florida's student-athletes will start to return to campus on June 8.
  • LATEST INFECTION RATES: Alachua County has had a cumulative total of 382 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases since the county's first confirmed case 83 days ago.

For a more exhaustive list of updates, 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.

Some examples of resources on our Together page:

For more information on resources for small business, enacted regulations, and information on how to help, visit the Chamber's Together page.
Below are our COVID-19-related business updates from the past week. 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.

"Now Hiring" Video Series

We have released the third video in our  Now Hiring Video Series. This first video features the Florida State Prison. If you would like to participate in this series to get the word out about your job openings, contact  Andrea Mender .
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”
Leadership Book Club

I’m sure you have had the term “Leaders are Readers”.  Successful people believe that ongoing professional development is key to improving your skillset while staying abreast of the latest ideas and trends.  The concept we are thinking of is creating a group of fellow Chamber members who would read the same book each month, then meet for approximately one hour either virtually or in-person to discuss the highlights and main takeaways of said book.  The format of the book club will be determined based on the level of interest in participation we receive. 

We are asking for your feedback.

If you like the concept of participating in a book club forum and would be interested in learning more, email Steve Cannon at  SteveC@GainesvilleChamber.com  and express your interest.
2020 Census Update

As of May 31st, Alachua County is just a bit under the national average for Census count--59.8% of us have completed our Census, with the national rate at 60.5% and Florida's overall rate at 57.9%. Let's move that needle, Greater Gainesville! If you haven't completed your Census, take a minute to do it today. If you have, continue to spread the word to your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors.

Paper questionnaires have been mailed to all households, or use your favorite device to respond at  https://my2020census.gov/ . Remember to count members living in your household on April 1st. Also underway at this time are institutional counts--from colleges, senior centers, prisons, hospitals--and those will continue through mid-June. Because of the pandemic, Census takers will not be visiting households that have not yet responded until August 11th, and those efforts will continue until October 31st. Visit  2020census.gov  for up-to-the minute information about the 2020 Census.
Summer at the Library Lifts Off

Summer with the Library continues this year with all programming and fun going online! Registration opens May 29 at www.aclib.us/summer . Patrons of all ages can sign up and track their progress for a chance to win a new Samsung Galaxy Tablet courtesy of Summer with the Library sponsor PDQ Restaurant! Three winners will be selected - one child, one teen, and one adult. Winners will be announced Sept. 1 on Facebook and the Library District’s website.
R.A.W.E. Recruits Academic Scholarship Update

R.A.W.E. Recruits has announced that 10% of all "The RAWE Pack" sports-film package sales will go towards "The Future is R.A.W.E." Academic Scholarship Fund, which is given annually. See  https://rawerecruits.com/collections/services  for package details.
WCJB Welcomes new morning and noon anchor Lisa Sacaccio

Lisa joins the TV20 team as the morning/noon anchor. Prior to her role here in North Central Florida, she worked at WCJB's sister station WTVY in Dothan, Alabama. Her journalism career in the "peanut capital" began in June of 2016 as a producer/MMJ, after graduating from Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, with a major in broadcasting and electronic media, and minor in sports business. Within 5 months at WTVY, she was promoted to morning MMJ, and then took over the role as morning/noon anchor in July of 2017. 
Over the past 4 years Lisa covered hurricane Michael and hurricane Hermine, and interviewed Broadway phenomenon Kristin Chenoweth, the Harlem Globetrotters, CBS's Chris Martinez for NASA's Apollo 11 50th Anniversary, Food Network's Guiliana Rancic, former GMA host Joan Lunden, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Alabama's US Representatives Martha Roby and Bradley Byrne, TV analyst and former NFL Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli, 2019 and 2017's Miss Alabama, and had a cameo on John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" segment.
Dan Drotos & Mike Ryals Successfully Transact Downtown Walker Furniture Buildings
Final Sale of the remaining two Walker Furniture Buildings on NW 8 th Avenue

May 28th, 2020 — Gainesville, Fla. — Dan Drotos & Mike Ryals formerly of The Drotos Ryals Group successfully facilitated the closing of the two remaining Walker Furniture buildings located at 113 NW 8 th Avenue and 13 NW 8 th Avenue Gainesville, FL 32601.
The sale closed on May 22, 2020. All three buildings sold for $2,700,000 in a two-part closing. Dan & Mike were the only Brokers involved in the deal with the Seller being, Benny Ledger Walker, and the Buyer, Stetz Partners, LLC.
Walker Furniture has served Gainesville since 1940 in this location spanning 3 generations of the Walker family. Their SW store located at 3413 SW 47 th Avenue underwent a recent addition to accommodate the inventory from the 8 th Avenue buildings. This purchase will support the growth and revitalization of the Grove Street area just north of downtown. Grove Street is currently home to some of Gainesville’s favorite hot spots including Cypress & Grove Brewery, Afternoon restaurant, Hoggetowne Creamery, Flashbacks, The Hatchetbury and many more.
The location of the buildings with frontage on NW 8 th Avenue as well as N Main Street will aid in the growth of new retail ventures in this area of Gainesville.
“This transaction was a long time in the making and achieved both Buyer and Seller’s ultimate goals. We are excited to see not only the redevelopment of these buildings but also the success of Walker Furniture’s expanded SW store.” Said Dan Drotos.