See the interview with Gainesville WCJB TV-20 on the announcement of Mobiquity expanding to Gainesville and creating 260 new jobs.
North Central Florida was featured in Florida Trend. See their update on our economy- http://www.floridatrend.com/article/15472/north-central
“Thriving business builds a thriving community” is the motto the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce operates by.
Most companies join the Chamber because of our job creation and economic development mission. As we grow our economy, build stronger companies and increase our economic competitiveness, every business in our area benefits. As a result, many choose to get involved and “join our team.”
To build stronger companies and make it easier for them to do business – just like the Florida Innovation Hub at the University of Florida serves companies with a variety of services, connections and advantages – the Chamber serves in a similar capacity for the Gainesville area.
Small Business Support
To help small businesses thrive, the Chamber, which has served as “the voice of business” since 1924, offers members many programs and services:
- Connections to various resources through one-on-one consultations
- Workshops on pressing business issues in partnership with the Santa Fe College Center for Innovation and Economic Development
- Speaker series on economic trends and business insights from industry experts
- Extensive networking and community leadership opportunities
- Industry Roundtables to identify needs specific to your industry
- Insight on public policy issues that impact your business
In addition to the programs and services above, we help foster the success of start-ups by creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem, providing:
- Consultations on starting a company from experienced entrepreneurs
- Small Entrepreneur Roundtable groups to connect entrepreneurs on critical business issues, while fostering a vibrant start-up community
- Connections to the myriad of services and programs available to startups in the community
Just like you, we’re always pushing the envelope, improving our value in the marketplace and delivering results. If you aren’t one of the 1,200 companies that are already taking advantage of our programs and services, we invite you to learn more about the Chamber on our website at www.gainesvillechamber.com, or contact us at (352) 334-7100 to discover the many ways we can help your business thrive.
In August, my family joined the Gainesville community in pursuit of helping create a thriving, globally competitive economy. Over the past few years, business and community leaders have transformed the Chamber-led Innovation Gainesville (iG) plan from a job creation initiative into a cultural mindset. Today, we find ourselves well positioned for the beginning of a global war for jobs.
Over the next 30 years, global annual GDP (gross domestic product- the best measure of economic activity) will grow from $60 trillion to an estimated $200 trillion. Our community will strive to be successful as the world experiences this significant change, where some will succeed and others will fail.
Not only will we lead iG forward as a job creation initiative, but also, we will foster economic opportunities, so all of our friends, colleagues and neighbors can dream big. Thriving businesses and successful entrepreneurs are the backbone to a thriving community. What results is hope, a way to escape poverty, well-funded schools and infrastructure, and support for non-profits that improve the quality of life for all of us.
Every day, we work with small businesses struggling with tough decisions and looking for resources to grow their business and achieve their dreams. Sometimes we connect them with one of our Entrepreneur Roundtable small groups that meet monthly to learn from one another. Sometimes we bring international speakers to Gainesville to broaden the perspective and knowledge of our business leaders. Other days, we work with a company in town to use our economic development toolkit to help them expand and train new employees to enhance their company’s ability to compete globally.
The economic challenges we face as a community have real consequences. Not every community will have a thriving economy and benefit from changes in the global marketplace. In fact, many communities will see their workforce decline, their infrastructure crumble and their cost of doing business soar. The Chamber will keep our eye on the ball and work tirelessly to foster job creation and economic opportunity, as Alachua County continues to be a place where our friends, neighbors and graduates pursue their dreams.
We have assets other communities dream of: a talented workforce, world-class educational and healthcare systems, cultural assets and a high quality of life. However, we also have neighbors who are without a good job and neighborhoods grabbling with the pervasive realities of poverty. Our community must rise together and create economic opportunities so all of our neighbors, friends and graduates can pursue their hopes and dreams in Alachua County.
If you haven’t already joined our effort, we welcome you to do so. It is through a collaborative approach to job creation that will ensure our community prospers. We need you. Together, we are Innovation Gainesville.
Small businesses are critical to Florida’s economy, and “tomorrow,” they are even more important because of increasing global competition. Most research and economic analysis shows that small businesses create a bulk of net new jobs, employ more than 50% of the workforce and account for approximately 1/3 of the difference between a strong economy and a weak economy.
The JOBS Act, being debated in Washington, offers a multi-faceted approach to support small businesses and the creation of new firms. Here are a few highlights:
- “Crowdfunding”- Startups and small businesses could now file with the SEC and solicit investments from non-institutional investors (like you and me) on a small scale (up to 10% of annual income or $10,000- whichever is less) to help build their companies.
- Raises cap on private shareholders from 500 to 2000- Currently, companies that grow quickly, hire more employees and make them shareholders, face a quick road to going public that may not be the best option for their long-term strategy or ability to create jobs. This part of the bill gives fast growing companies an avenue to stay a private company, while bringing in new top talent with shareholder privileges, if they aren’t ready to go public.
- Make going public less burdensome- This part of the bill gives companies an easier and less costly route to going public by removing some of the regulations that large corporations face.
- Allows companies to solicit their stock to the public- This offering creates more of a free market to help companies build capital but will rely on investors making smart, informed decisions.
If this bill passes, we will see if this legislation is the answer to a fundamentally changed capital market that will foster job creation.
Business start-ups, small business growth and entrepreneurship are critically important to our economy. In fact, they account for most net job growth in our state and country.
Beginning next week, the Florida Chamber Small Business Council will work with our state Department of Economic Opportunity (similar to a Dept. of Commerce in other states and federally) to identify and execute strategies to grow our economy through entrepreneurship and small business growth. We will host the Small Business Stakeholders Forum at the Florida Chamber as the central way to build out the state’s 5-year economic development strategy as it relates to small business and entrepreneurship.
There are some things that the government can start doing, some things they can stop doing and many ways to rethink how Florida can improve its entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Now is the time to put forth the best ideas. Please leave a comment, send me an email or contact me on Twitter (@TimGiuliani).