A 5-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce
October 27, 2020
Florida Chamber honors Greater Gainesville Chamber CEO Eric Godet with Chair's Award

Last Friday, during the Florida Chamber's Future of Florida Forum, Greater Gainesville Chamber CEO Eric Godet was honored with the Chair's Award for leadership this year.
Register Now to Explore Intersections in Race and Business at Tomorrow's Crossroads Event
Thursday, October 28, 1 - 2:30 p.m.

After four months of Crossroads events, we want to check in with you to share what work has been done since we began this journey in June. We also want to hear from you how things are going in your companies in relation to race, diversity, equity and inclusion, and learn more about the questions and observations you have at this point. For example, how are you faring in attracting and retaining diverse talent? Have you employed any of the strategies or tactics discussed on a previous Crossroads call? What needs do you see coming down the pike in the areas of race and business as 2020 comes to a close and we venture into 2021? We are planning to both delve into conversation for this session and use the feedback anonymously to inform upcoming episodes.

As always, Crossroads is formatted to connect businesses, professionals, and the community with expert perspective, best practices and a safe space to productively comment and ask questions without having to be identified. The event is open to businesses, employees and the community, and we will accept questions and comments in advance and anonymously. If you submit a question or comment using the link below, even we won't know who you are, so please feel free to provide your most honest feedback or ask your most sensitive questions. Click here to submit a fully anonymous question in advance of the event.

Attendance is free, but registration is required. Register here.
Join us for Business Before Hours (Live and in-Person)
November 10, 8:30 - 10am
3900 SW 63rd Blvd, Gainesville
Join us for Business Before Hours Tuesday, November 10, 2020 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the UF Treeo Center.  Admission is free with your Chamber membership, registration is required.
This is the first “Live” Business Before Hours we have done since March 2020. We will be observing social distancing, take temperatures at the door and require face masks be worn.
Due to social distancing, we may only accept 36 members to participate in this event. Please only register to attend if you are 100% sure you can attend. 
Business Before Hours is a structured yet relaxed environment for making effective connections within the Chamber business community.
You may find a strong referral source, a new vendor, the perfect client or simply get a foot in the door for connecting at larger events. Come build lasting business and personal relationships at Business Before Hours. We hope to see you there!
Click Here for more information and to register.
Sponsored by
2020 Business Award Applications
Wednesday, November 11, 2020: Application Deadline 
Tuesday, November 17, 2020: Finalists Announced 
Thursday, December 3, 2020: Business Awards

Each year, the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce honors local businesses and organizations for their role in helping our region become a global hub of talent, innovation and opportunity.  We love to celebrate our members and recognize all the good they do not only in our region, but around the world! 
Applications are now available for the following categories:

  • Commitment to the Environment Award
  • Community Involvement Award
  • Employer of the Year
  • Leading Women’s Business
  • New Business (2 years or less)
  • Technology Company of the Year
  • Human Life Sciences Company of the Year
  • Small Business of the Year (<2 million revenue annually)
  • Large Business of the Year (>2 million revenue annually)

  • Large Nonprofit of the Year (501C3 required) SMALL (annual revenue > $2 million)
  • Small Nonprofit of the Year (501C3 required) SMALL (annual revenue < $2 million)
  • Diversity & Inclusion Award
The 2020 Business Awards are Presentedf by VyStar Credit Union.
Gainesville Chamber Leadership Book Club
Tuesday, November 24, 8 - 8:45 a.m.

Join us for our next Leadership Book Club Virtual Meeting where we will be discussing the book:

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

The leadership book club creates diversity of thought as you’ll read books you might not have picked. It creates accountability as you have a deadline to read or listen to it. The discussion reinforces the takeaways from each book and how members are implementing them in their lives and workplaces. 
Leadercast Weekly Session: Sangram Vajre
Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist, Terminus: Account-Based Marketing
Wednesday, November 4th, 8:00 a.m.

Known as the "accidental" evangelist, Sangram has built Terminus into one of Deloitte's 2019 Technology Fast 500 in less than 5 years. He is the host of FlipMyFunnel Podcast and has authored two books on account-based marketing.

Sessions are available for 36 hours starting at 8:00 AM, are approximately 30 minutes long and feature a recorded session from the Leadercast 2020 Event held earlier this year.

Registration closes for this session on Friday at 11:00 PM.
Presented by
Celebrating our Anniversary Members

October is Member Appreciation Month, and we were thrilled to honor our anniversary members at our 2020 Member Appreciation event at First Federal Bank! We're thankful to have so many members celebrating anniversaries with us, and we look forward to many years to come!

View a gallery of the celebration here.
Member Appreciation Month is presented by
Visit our 2020 Election center for Candidate Interviews, Amendment Information, and our 2020 Election Guide
The 2020 Election is upon us! The Chamber is here to help you navigate not only the high-profile national and state elections, but the equally important local elections and amendments on your ballots.

At our 2020 Election Center, you’ll find our election guide, candidate interviews and 2020 amendment video forum and primer, as well as other useful information as you prepare to cast your ballot.
County CARES Money Still Available for Businesses

If your company is in need of financial assistance, take a look at the County CARES program. Money remains available and you may qualify for assistance. Since the County launched the program, the amount available to individual businesses has increased and nonprofit organizations have become eligible to apply for assistance in the Small- and Medium-sized business category. For all related information, including application instructions, the County's most current FAQ and more, click here.
First Federal Bank named best small bank in Florida by Newsweek

LAKE CITY, Fla., October 20, 2020 – First Federal Bank was recently named on Newsweek’s America’s Best Banks 2021 as the Best Small Bank in Florida. This distinction is the result of Newsweek’s assessment of 2,500 FDIC-insured banks, measuring 55 different factors ranging from banking accounts and customer service, to financial reports from the FDIC.
“We are honored by this recognition, which emphasizes First Federal’s commitment to being a financially sound, community bank,” says FFB President and CEO John Medina. “Because we are a mutual savings bank, Newsweek acknowledged our ability to be more responsive to local customer needs. This accolade demonstrates that even through challenging times we remain committed to our purpose of providing stability to our employees, customers, and communities.”

Recognizing the pandemic has altered the way individuals function on a daily basis, including the way Americans bank, Newsweek compiled a list of the best-in-class banking institutions. Newsweek partnered with Lending Tree to rank 2,500 FDIC-insured financial institutions based on a wide variety of fees, interest rates, account terms and conditions, digital services, customer service features, and bank profile. To read the complete article, go to www.newsweek.com/americas-best-banks-2021/best-small-banks-state.
ICI Homes introduces Joe Blanco and Jocylyne Wagle

ICI Homes, one of the nation’s Top 100 Homebuilders, is pleased to announce a new line of homes they are building in Oakmont, an established 550-acre community located in the southwest section of Gainesville, Florida.

The company is introducing over a half dozen new floor plans with pricing starting from the low $300,000s. These 3 and 4 bedroom homes, ranging from 1,500 to 2,400 square feet, fit nicely on 50’ lots allowing more people the opportunity to choose the Oakmont lifestyle.

At the head of this bold undertaking is a new leadership team. Joe Blanco, the company’s division manager for the North Florida division and Jocylyne Wagle, sales manager, will be leading the team in this new endeavor.

ICI Homes will continue to sell on larger single-family and estate-sized lots, starting in the $400,000s with full-custom options as well as homes being built with the latest design trends and colors available for immediate purchase. The company also builds completely custom homes on estate lots in excess of $1 Million.

To continue reading, click here.
2020 Hope Builders Luncheon
Wednesday, October 28, Noon

Join Alachua Habitat's Hope Builders Virtual Lunch on Facebook Live at noon this Wednesday October 28 to hear Gainesville Chamber of Commerce CEO Eric Godet as well as the President of the Alachua Habitat for Humanity, Cathy Aull, talk about this and what you can do to help.

The first 25 people to sign up can enjoy a free lunch sponsored by Renasant Bank.
Colliers International Moves Gainesville Office to the Innovation District

Prominent international real estate services and investment management firm Colliers International (NASDAQ, TSX: CIGI) recently announced it has relocated its Gainesville, Florida headquarters to a new office in the Gainesville Innovation District to support its growing presence in the community.

Though only recently established in early 2019, the local branch of the internationally-recognized company has already experienced significant success in the local market. The Colliers team, which currently comprises of approximately 10 employees, quickly outgrew their original office building located off of Northwest 43rd Street. They have subsequently moved to a state-of-the-art, two-story building at 107 Southwest 7th Street in the heart of the Innovation District.

According to Christian Oldenburg, managing director of Colliers’ Jacksonville and Gainesville offices, establishing headquarters in this region was a strategic decision.
“We liked the building’s proximity to the University of Florida and downtown,” said Oldenburg. “The office is also close to many of our listings and clients, as well as walking distance to restaurants and entertainment options.”

Conveniently located near over 80 other companies working in the Innovation District and downtown, the new location will allow the Colliers team to easily connect with nearby clients on a daily basis. They will also benefit from the myriad dining and recreation options in the area, such as the 4th Avenue Food Park and the forthcoming Midpoint Park and Eatery, a food park with four new restaurants set to open in Spring 2021.

Continue reading here.
Guide to Greater Gainesville launching Directory Resource

The Guide to Greater Gainesville is launching a new Directory Resource to streamline the search experience for all resources and business listings within the Greater Gainesville area. The website is now live, and the mobile app is set to be released on October 21, 2020, providing an efficient community-based search engine for the Greater Gainesville region. Gainesville residents searching for businesses by name or category, events or jobs need to look no further than the Guide Directory, which consolidates these resources into one click of a button. Users can browse through various categories, explore featured companies and activities, or search for specific businesses. The main purpose of the app is to centralize these resources in one place, making it easier to connect with businesses than ever before. From exploring new businesses and community resources to searching for jobs, residents can experience a whole new level of connection to Greater Gainesville with the Guide Directory. 
The Guide to Greater Gainesville is a part of True North, Inc., a trendsetting solutions firm driving innovation and creative strategy for brands. Founders and Co-CEOs of True North Inc. and the Guide to Greater Gainesville, Scott Costello, and Christy Robinson-Costello, are both University of Florida graduates and have a deep connection to the Greater Gainesville area. They are excited to introduce this new platform to Greater Gainesville and foster a deeper sense of connection in the community through this resource. “Through Guide to Greater Gainesville and our sister publications/events, we have been providing resources and connecting people in our community for over 20 years. The launch of the online directory and mobile app allows us to continue that path by bringing everything Greater Gainesville to our residents in one location,” says Scott Costello in preparation for the launch.
Dance Marathon at UF hosts annual event “Transform Today”

Every Fall semester, Dance Marathon at the University of Florida hosts their
annual event Transform Today. For 26.2 hours, students unite and work together to fundraise and create awareness for the patients at UF Health Shands Children's Hospital, Gainesville’s local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

Transform Today is the second largest yearly event for Dance Marathon at UF. This year, Transform Today will begin on October 27 at 8 a.m and end October 28 at 10:12 a.m. The 26.2-hour time frame represents the length of DM at UF’s Main Event, which will be held in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on April 10-11, 2021.

Every dollar raised during Transform Today will contribute to DM at UF’s 2021 total, which will directly benefit Shands Children’s Hospital. Funds raised by DM at UF are instrumental in providing research, education, equipment and programs that make Shands a leader in pediatric care. The need for funds is more prevalent than ever due to COVID-19, and it is Our Time Now to fight harder than ever to make miracles for the children treated at Shands. Throughout Transform Today, students are inspired by the courage and resilience of the pediatric patients to remain dedicated to fundraising. Transform Today serves as an opportunity for the UF campus, the Gainesville community and other students across Florida to join together as one movement fighting to end childhood illness.
Halloween on the Green this Saturday
Saturday, October 31, 6 - 9:30 p.m.
Ironwood Golf Course
2100 NE 39th Ave, Gainesville

The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department invites all neighbors to Halloween on The Green, a movie night of family-friendly, socially-distancing fun this Saturday!

Food will be available for purchase from Ironwood’s concessions and onsite food trucks. Face coverings/masks are required. 
6-7:30 p.m.
  • Drive-thru, contact-free candy distribution
  • Pumpkin contest (Bring your own carved pumpkin for a chance to win gift card prizes. Fellow attendees will vote and top three vote-getters will win.) 
7:15 p.m.
  • Thriller Trilogy dance performance (Adams Family, Thriller and This is Halloween) by Danscompany of Gainesville
7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Enjoy the Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus. Bring your blankets and pick a social-distancing circle on the green from which to watch the movie.
  • During the movie, staff will distribute candy by golf cart.
For more information, call 352-334-5067.