A 5-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce
March 31, 2020
The following is our latest on coronavirus response and news:

  • SCHOOL CLOSURES EXTENDED: Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran has announced that schools will remain closed through May 1, which means the new target date for reopening schools is Monday, May 4.
  • FACP CALL: The Florida Chamber is hosting a chamber specific call on COVID-19. Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish and Florida Chamber President & CEO Mark Wilson will provide perspectives on Florida’s health scare, the infodemic and the resulting economic destruction we’re all attempting to manage through. Click HERE to register for the call. The call will be held Today, March 31 at 9:30-10:30 am EST.
  • DRIVE-THRU TESTING: Alachua County Health officials announced that a drive-thru testing site has opened in the City of Gainesville. The location of that site has not been released for security purposes. Officials with the city, county and health department said that, in order to learn the location, patients must be pre-screened and given a prescription. Those who think they need testing should contact the Alachua County Health Department or their doctor to be walked through next steps.
  • VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION: Alachua County Public Schools’ Instructional Continuity Plan went into effect on Monday. You will find online resources for all grade levels in a variety of subjects.
  • CARES ACT: Now that the CARES Act has passed, resources are flowing in. Here are several that may be beneficial to your business:
  • For those of you who were unable to attend Friday’s Small Business Roundtable and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), we are providing a recording so you can still benefit from the information and perspectives that were shared.
  • Also, referenced on the call is a guide to the CARES Act, released by the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee.
  • This Small Business Guide to the CARES Act may be helpful to some of you.
  • The U.S. Chamber has developed a Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist.
  • SMALL BUSINESS COUNCIL CONFERENCE CALL: The Florida Chamber's Small Business Council for a special conference call on Wednesday, April 1 at 11 a.m., which will focus on available resources for small businesses, including the emergency bridge loan program and SBA programs.
  • DON'T GET SCAMMED: The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers that we should beware of Coronavirus scams, and encourages people to remain watchful so as not to fall victim.

For a more exhaustive list of updates over the past two weeks, visit the Chamber's COVID-19 page.
For more information on resources for small business, enacted regulations, and information on how to help, visit the Chamber's Together page.
For the latest information from restaurants or where to eat in support of local business, visit the Chamber's EAT GNV Facebook group.
 All forthcoming Chamber events are postponed until further notice.

For more information, contact Steve Cannon at stevec@gainesvillechamber.com .
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”
We’re Still Counting on You!
The 2020 Census is now

What a difference a few weeks makes. Our world has shifted dramatically from one month to the next, but together we are working to figure it out. During this challenging time, it can be easy to overlook a very important task: completing your 2020 Census. But this remains one of the simplest ways we can all help our community. Why? From the data collected from each person in the United States, federal funds are allocated for hospitals, social programs, public services, schools and roads.

And the 2020 Census is made for social distancing! It is short, easy and, for the first time, we can complete our Census online. By now you should have received your household’s personal, secure Census code in the mail. No code? No problem. You can also enter your address to get started.

You have heard this dismaying fact from us over the previous few months, but it is worth repeating—the estimated undercount for Alachua County in 2010 was 33,827 people, which resulted in a $390 million loss of federal funds over the last 10 years. We want to ensure we receive the full amount we are entitled to over the next decade, as we will certainly need those funds more than ever.

Though our daily routines have been disrupted by the coronavirus, take a few minutes now to help our community.  2020census.gov  has all the information you need to complete your Census now. We’re Counting on You, Alachua County!
COVID-19 Member Announcements

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.

March 30, 2020
  • The Community Foundation of North Central Florida, in partnership with the United Way of North Central Florida and other local organizations, has established a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Relief & Recovery needs request form for area nonprofits.
  • Gray Robinson's COVID-19 Task Force has created a simplified summary of the CARES Act for business owners and those seeking to understand how it affects them.
  • Advantage Media Promotions has announced their free live stream conference Moving Forward With Confidence featuring John Spence, Craig Wilburn, Brandon West and Almon Gunter, taking place April 2.
  • Blu Dove Designs continues to offer free initial consults to businesses & organizations. Affordable website & marketing packages are available to businesses needing to transition to an online workplace or connect with their customers fast. Contact by emailphone or Facebook message.

March 27, 2020
  • Hitchcock's Markets are giving out a total of 3,000 meals to families in need at their 10 locations on Saturday starting at noon.
  • Best Western Gateway Grand is now offering half off deals on private day use rooms for remote workers to remain productive (free wifi included), as well as catering delivery services.
  • GrayRobinson has assembled a COVID-19 Task Force that includes a broad-based, multi-disciplinary team of attorneys and consultants who are ready to assist with any need businesses may have.
  • Haven Hospice is continuing to care for patients at the ET York Care Center, no matter where they live. In response to the virus and its effects on hospice and palliative care centers, Haven is taking extra precautions to protect its patients and guests.

March 26, 2020
  • Cox Communications has partnered with United Way of North Central Florida (UWNCFL) to distribute more than 100 Chromebook computers to local children in need. These Chromebook computers have been donated as part of Cox’s mission to bridge the digital divide for community members and will be distributed via Girls Place, PACE Center for Girls, Kids Count in Alachua County, Tiger Bay Initiative and the Aces in Motion after school program.
  • Frankel Media Group is offering to help the business owners in the Greater Gainesville community succeed through the new challenges that we are all facing. They are eager to share what we are seeing across industries (free of charge) and offer some solutions to help. They are available at 352-309-3346 to discuss strategic strengths, opportunities, and new ways that your business can adapt.
  • SCAD Media is offering free consultations, basic free graphic design/video help for our community and a heavy discount for any business in dire need to stay alive. They are also able to offer deferred payment and help with strategizing budgets, break-even marketing and more to stay afloat.

March 25, 2020
  • GRACE Marketplace has suspended volunteer and meal group programs, and is asking for community support in the form of monetary donations, drop-off donations at the gate, donations of food from canceled events and shopping for their Amazon wish list.
  • Gift Certificates & More is running a GoFundMe page to purchase food from local restaurants and donate it to charities, first responders and community members who need it.
  • 4 Rivers Smokehouse and LifeSouth are partnering to address the need for blood by hosting a blood drive at 4 Rivers on Saturday, March 28. Donors will get a free T-shirt and 25% off their order at 4 Rivers. In addition, 4 Rivers is also selling essential grocery products.
  • 10 Gainesville Area McDonald's locations are offering free meals to children 12 and under from Wednesday, March 25 through Friday, March 27.

March 24, 2020
  • Ology Bioservices announced today that the Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded them with a contract valued at $11.9 million to work with Inovio on DNA technology transfer to rapidly manufacture DNA vaccines. Under this program, Ology Bioservices will work with Inovio Pharmaceuticals to manufacture Inovio’s DNA vaccine (INO-4800) for prevention of infection with the COVID-19 virus.
  • Thermo Fisher has developed an assay kit that can be used to do quick research on COVID-19.
  • The Community Foundation of North Central Florida and the United Way of North Central Florida are gathering information to better understand needs of nonprofits during the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Only one person per organization needs to fill out the form.
  • Earth Pets is required to limit in-store customers to 3 amid new regulations. They are still available to accommodate in-store pickup, curbside pickup and delivery.

Luxury Home Builder Announces Major Rebranding after serving home buyers in the Gainesville Community for over 50 years

GW Robinson Homes, a luxury home builder in the Gainesville community for over 50 years, today announced a major rebranding to reflect the future of home building. GW Robinson Homes is now GW Homes and the rebrand has taken on a more modern look.

Gay Robinson Schmitt, President, is the second generation to lead the company. Schmitt says, “Rebranding the company brings clarity to the overarching purpose and vision of GW Homes under my leadership today and for years to come.”

Family businesses are the primary form of business all over the world. Second generations prove to be successful by being properly prepared for the responsibility of running the company and the ability to continue to be innovative and forward thinking in the continuation of developing their business.

Schmitt says, “I embraced being prepared for this hand off from the founding generation to me. We have united in this transition and have been deliberate over these past 10 years towards this succession.”