A 5-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce
March 16, 2021
Election Day is today! Get to Know Your Candidates for the Gainesville City Election 

Our Get to Know Your Candidate interviews for the Gainesville City Commission District 1 and At-Large seats are available. Our candidates are anxious for you to get to know them better—hear what they have to say here.
 
For more information about this election, a list of candidates on the ballot and voting procedures—including adjustments due to the pandemic—visit the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections website at www.votealachua.com or call the office at 352-374-5252.
MEMBER BENEFIT
New Member Benefit – Post your job openings!

Is your business beginning to get busy again? Are you looking for more help now that customers are resuming eating out and shopping? 

At the Chamber, one of our goals is to increase our region’s opportunities in the fiercely competitive global market for jobs and talent. One way we can all work together toward this goal is by having a central location for job and internship opportunities to better engage our residents and attract talented individuals to the Greater Gainesville region. The Chamber’s new Job Postings area will be a great first step toward achieving our goal, but we need your help! 

Chamber Members can simply log into their account and navigate to the new “Job Postings” tab on the left to add your job and internship opportunities to our database. With the support of our incredible Members, we’ll be able to recruit and retain worthy additions to our workforce. 

To view available job and internship opportunities, visit https://members.gainesvillechamber.com/jobs
UPCOMING EVENT
Lunch & Learn – Microsoft Teams: So Much More Than Instant Messaging
Wednesday, March 17, Noon
 
Whether you are already using Microsoft Teams or are thinking about using it in the future, you will learn how to increase your businesses productivity and learn about the benefits of working remotely.
 
Is Microsoft Teams right for you?  
In this session overview of Microsoft Teams, we will cover:
1) Features at a glance including app integration
2) Learn how teams enables remote work and increases meeting effectiveness
3) Learn how to use KPI's offered by Teams to gain insight into employee productivity
4) We will share tips, tricks and shortcuts to help you operate better
5) The benefits of using a cloud based service for your business productivity
Presented by: Cox Business
Speakers: 
Calli Trabeaux, Cox Business Product Manager of Managed and Cloud Services
Rich Lounsbury, Cox Business Cloud Solutions Consultant
 
ABOUT LUNCH & LEARNS:
Small business is the strength of our local economy and Chamber. The Chamber is committed to helping ensure business growth for all of our members. These workshops are dedicated to assist in developing and educating our small business owners and their employees on topics such as wellness, social media, strategic planning, websites, career development and more.
 
This event will be held live on ZOOM.                                                     
Chamber Members: Free to Attend
Future Members: $10.00 Registration
Sponsored by Carr, Riggs & Ingram CPAs
UPCOMING EVENT
Join Us As We Celebrate with
The Fiesta Media on their office opening with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Wednesday, March 17, 4:30 - 6 p.m.
The Fiesta Media
3601 SW 2nd Avenue, Suite O, Gainesville
 
Join us as we celebrate the grand opening of the new offices for The Fiesta Media with a Ribbon Cutting celebration.

The Fiesta Media is a Live Streaming Agency that focuses on producing podcasts, talk shows and any type of Live Streaming Event. Founded by entertainer & entrepreneur Elio Piedra and sponsored by Jorge Villalobos from The Best Restoration & Sharp D-Signs, The Fiesta Media collaborates with our area’s most remarkable businesses to create original content. With more than 10 area podcasts now in production, Elio and his team work to bring our community together and provide true value to his clients looking to boost their business in this new age of digital marketing. 

The event will include speeches, Hors d'oeuvres, Refreshments, and tours.
The official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will commence at 5:00pm
 
We look forward to seeing you there.
UPCOMING EVENT
Join Us As We Celebrate the Grand Opening of Phase II of The Flats at Tioga Town Center with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Thursday, March 18, 5 - 7 p.m.
The Flats at Tioga Town Center
13085 SW 1st Lane, Newberry

Join us on Thursday, March 18 starting at 5:00 pm and enjoy refreshments, beverages, live music, special announcements, swag bags, a Grand Prize giveaway, and of course, a ribbon cutting! We will also be offering tours of our brand-new construction luxury urban Flats, as well as our new state-of-the-art Clubhouse and resort-style pool! We are so thankful for the Greater Gainesville Chamber for joining us in this event!

Phase II of The Flats offers brand new construction, superbly appointed luxury apartment homes ranging from one to two bedrooms with a den floorplan option. New construction units are all equipped with exceptional amenities at an exceptional value, including oversized kitchen islands, Quartz countertops, stainless steel Energy Start appliances, your choice of custom cabinets in either white or espresso - both with tile backsplashes, oversized private balconies, frameless shower doors, front load washer & dryers, generous walk-in closets, NEST thermostat technology, convenient keyless entry, USB ports, plus Cox Digital Cable with HBO I & II, Fiberoptic Internet and a 1 Year Gainesville Health & Fitness Membership included!

But that’s not all! When you’re at The Flats, you’re at the center of it all, in the heart of Tioga Town Center! Enjoy the convenience of being able to walk to your neighborhood coffee shops, premier fitness center, favorite boutiques and restaurants, all within walking distance to miles of tree-lined streets perfect for biking, walking or jogging! Tioga Town Center is also host to several outdoor events throughout the year. Residents also are granted access to multiple Community Amenities including a resort style pool, resident lounge and demonstration kitchen, complimentary coffee bar, resident media center, pet spa, private elevators, electric car charging stations, pet-friendly environment, Tioga Town Center playground, 24-hour emergency maintenance, controlled access lobby, convenient trash chutes on each floor, and package receiving and storage locker options. Plus, even more exceptional amenities coming soon, exclusive only to residents! We’ll be telling you a bit more about that at our event!

To schedule your tour ahead of time, please reserve your time using the following link: http://bit.ly/3rpUjgc - We’ll also be offering tours throughout the event, available first come, first served. Check back for a full schedule of events. Quite a few of our neighboring businesses will be offering promotions, extended hours, and much more to help us celebrate. We hope to see you there!

For the health and safety of everyone, we are taking all necessary precautions according to the CDC. We will be limiting attendance for this event and registration is required. Please wear a mask and maintain a safe social distance while enjoying the festivities. If you have any questions or concerns, please message us!
UPCOMING EVENT
Don’t miss the first stop of the 2021 DRINK GNV Brewery Tour
Tuesday, April 6, 5-7pm
Blackadder Brewing Company
618 NW 60th Street Gainesville, FL 32607

Join us for the 2021 Season of Drink GNV!

First up is Blackadder Brewing Company. Blackadder Brewing Company has been a great part of our Greater Gainesville Community since December 2016 but owners, Chris and Sissy Hart, have been brewing for over a decade. Collectively, they have earned over 30 medals in homebrew competitions throughout Florida and the US. Needless to say, they bring a lot of knowledge, experience and passion to their brewery. Blackadder features Belgian inspired beers in an Old-World atmosphere.
Each ticket will include 1 raffle ticket, 2 pints of Blackadder brews and food from Mi Apa. Masks are required unless seated. Tables are socially distanced. Temperature will be taken as each guest arrives. We invite you to enjoy an evening with Blackadder Brewing to safely mingle with other members of the community.
 
Space is limited so be sure to book your spot early! 

Cheers to Drink GNV!
Presenting Sponsor
Food Sponsor
EDUCATION NEWS
Magnet program application window for 2021-22 school year is now open
 
The window for local families to apply for their children to attend one of the district’s academic or career-technical (CTE) magnet programs opened at noon on Monday, March 8 and will close at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 5.
 
The application, magnet program requirements and other information can be found on the district’s website at www.sbac.edu/magnet. Hard copies of the application will also be available at each school.
 
For specific questions about a particular magnet program, families can contact the school directly. For all other questions, they can email alachuamagnets@gm.sbac.edu or call (352) 955-7629.
UPCOMING DEADLINE
Apply now to Lockheed Martin STEM scholarship program
Deadline to apply: 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.
UPCOMING EVENT
Doing Business with UF
Tuesday, March 23, Noon - 1 p.m.
Online Event
 
As a small business owner, making the University of Florida your customer can be a daunting task, especially if you are unsure what to do. Since the institution has a decentralized procurement process, learning what each department purchases can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. With this "Doing Business With UF!" workshop series, we are inviting UF departments to discuss key information to help small businesses learn how to do business with them!

UF Small Business & Supplier Diversity is a UF department whose mission is to identify and promote the use of qualified, small & diverse businesses at the institution. We also offer small business development services to support firms' success on campus.

Questions? Email sbvdr@admin.ufl.edu
UPCOMING EVENT
Speak at TEDxGainesville
Saturday, June 5, Noon - 5 p.m.
The Wooly
20 N Main Street, Gainesville

WHO IS TEDxGAINESVILLE?

The inaugural TEDxGainesville event was held on February 9, 2019, hosting nine speakers and three performers at the Cade Museum of Creativity and Invention on the theme of Courageous Conversations. TEDxGainesville originated as the action learning project for the Leadership Gainesville Class (LG44), with the core organizing committee still composed of LG44 alumni. TEDxGainesville is a subsidiary committee organized under the Leadership Gainesville Alumni Association, a local non-profit 501(c)(3), which seeks to extend the Leadership Gainesville experience and mission beyond the class year for the program’s alumni as well as attract new leaders.
 
2021’S THEME: GRIT
 
The mission of TEDxGainesville GRIT is to highlight local individuals and stories to open minds and transform the Greater Gainesville community. A central goal of this year’s event is to build bridges among our diverse community, uniting our diverse sectors and populations on the basis of common ground and shared experiences. We will be assembling a panel of speakers and performers that embody the spirit of perseverance, personify mental and physical toughness, and inspire our audience. By unifying our community’s stakeholders in determination and resolve, we seek to strengthen the bonds that will allow our community to thrive and continue to grow.

For more information to become a speaker/performer, check out our TEDx event page here.

If interested in becoming a sponsor, please reach out to tedxgainesville@gmail.com.
UPCOMING EVENT
Florida Museum open extended hours March 24
Florida Museum of Natural History
3215 Hull Road, Gainesville

As part of UF’s Student Recharge Day, the Florida Museum of Natural History will remain open late until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24! Come slow down with Flash the sloth and his easy-going friends, including a hedgehog, red-footed tortoise and more, at the “Survival of the Slowest” exhibit and see hundreds of butterflies, moths and birds from around the world in the “Butterfly Rainforest” exhibit, both are FREE for UF students with a valid Gator 1 card and museum members. The Florida Museum will be open until 8 p.m. with last admission to the “Survival of the Slowest” exhibit at 7:30 p.m. The “Butterfly Rainforest” exhibit will close at 7 p.m. with last admission at 6:30 p.m. These two exhibits have an admission fee for visitors who are not members or UF students, all permanent and outdoor exhibits will be open free of charge for all visitors. For more information, visit www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/event/extended-hours or call 352-846-2000.
MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENT
Volunteers Needed!

SCORE of North Central Florida seeks volunteers for both mentoring and event planning. The need is great! Please help us foster a vibrant business community both in Alachua and in the surrounding counties. 1-2 hours per week can make a huge difference! Direct questions to Jeff.Greenspan@scorevolunteer.org, or apply online at https://core.score.org/volunteer.
UPCOMING EVENT
Join Peaceful Paths for the 6th annual Power of the Purse
Saturday, April 17, 10 a.m. - Noon
Gainesville Women's Club
2809 W University Ave, Gainesville

Join Peaceful Paths on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at the Gainesville Women's Club for the 6th Annual Power of the Purse Brunch. Learn about the impact of financial abuse in the lives of survivors and ways supporters can get personally involved. Guests will also hear first-hand how the Economic Empowerment Program has created a path of self-sufficiency for survivors who have participated in the Financial Literacy Coursework.

This Covid-Concious event will include a delicious brunch (and mimosas) catered by Dos Mamas, a short program, and a silent handbag auction with over 150 high end purses. Tickets are on sale now for individual admissions and/or reserved tables. To learn more about the event and to purchase tickets, please visit the event page: https://www.peacefulpaths.org/powerofthepurse and share the event on Facebook. https://fb.me/e/4LUDnNUv9

The silent auction will be open April 11-17 and the public will be invited to bid remotely all week. Any questions can be directed to fundraising@peacefulpaths.org.
MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENT
Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Alachua County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) has begun taking applications.

ERAP is a Federal Grant intended to assist households who cannot pay or are having difficulty paying rent and/or utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It can assist eligible households with the payment of late rent and/or utilities and may also assist with rent payment in advance. Payments will generally be made only to landlords/property managers and/or utility companies, not the households themselves. Alachua County is distributing over $8 million in ERAP funds. Each household is limited to a maximum of $15,000 in assistance.

The application link will go live at 12 p.m. (noon) and be available on the County website and Facebook page at that time.

We recommend that those interested in applying click on the link below and read the Program Information page and the FAQ page. This will allow you to be prepared with what you need to expedite the application process next week.


For more information, contact Alachua County Communications Director Mark Sexton at 352-264-6979 or msexton@alachuacounty.us.
MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENT
COVID-19 Vaccine Survey

In partnership with the WellFlorida Council (the local health planning council), the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners invites you to answer this COVID-19 Vaccine Survey. We are seeking 10,000 surveys. The survey will be available from March 12 to March 26 at 5 p.m. The survey may close earlier than March 26 if 10,000 responses have been recorded.
 
COVID-19 vaccine distribution is an evolving and rapidly changing process and may, in fact, change during the time this survey is available. Despite this challenge, Alachua County leaders feel it is vital to hear from residents to better understand fundamental factors, challenges, and perspectives on the vaccine and vaccine delivery in our county. Community leaders will use your input to help guide decisions about COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Alachua County.
 
This survey has approximately 30 questions and should take about 10-15 minutes to finish. Your answers will not be used to identify you.
 
Survey information:
·        You must be at least 18 years old to take the survey
·        You must be an Alachua County resident to take the survey
·        Please answer all questions within the survey
·        The survey will automatically close once 10,000 responses have been recorded
·        Please answer the survey only once
·        The survey is only accessible online (phone, computer, tablet)
 
 The link to the survey is: http://bit.ly/AlachuaCOVID
 
The survey will close automatically when we reach our target number of responses or on Friday, March 26 at 5 p.m., whichever comes first.
MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENT
New Citizen Engagement Process to Steer 
City of Gainesville Comprehensive Plan Revision

The City of Gainesville has launched ImagineGNV, a six-month initiative designed to actively engage neighbors in the update of its comprehensive plan. Every ten years, the City embarks on an extensive review and rewrite of the plan, a state-mandated blueprint that guides policy decisions, resources and investments that impact nearly every aspect of area life. 
 
One of the major goals of the revision is to focus specifically on reducing racial disparity and improving quality of life in Gainesville’s historically marginalized communities. It will be among the first plans in the nation to do so. Through ImagineGNV, a series of activities are planned to increase participation in the update process and gather input from members of the community. 
 
These include:
  • Community-led discussions: Meetings hosted by neighbors, advocates and local organizations to collect feedback and share it directly with City staff; 
  • Listening sessions: Three virtual gatherings where community members will help design the collaboration process, define accountability measures and share their vision for progress; 
  • Paid fellowships: Ten community members will learn about the elements of city planning — which policies and procedures can be changed, when and how — and help define areas of focus for neighbors and City staff to define priorities together.

For more information, visit https://www.cityofgainesville.org/ImagineGNV or contact City of Gainesville Public Information Officer Rossana Passaniti at 352-318-9599 or passanitir1@cityofgainesville.org.