Chamber and county join forces on economic development

Alachua County and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce came together on April 16 for the first of a series of meetings to try to replicate the success that the Chamber has had in its partnership with the City of Gainesville on economic development.

The 34-part Initiative plan includes creating a combined Alachua County economic development website, reaching out to co-working space entrepreneurs and promoting the local agricultural economy. Overall, it is designed to promote an environment that fosters economic growth, business expansion and business attraction throughout Alachua County.

“Here we have an opportunity to take Alachua County and make it more business friendly,” said Alachua County Commissioner Susan Baird. “We can be a beacon and show that it’s not government that will grow business, but private enterprise.”

The plan was developed by the Economic Development Advisory Committee in 2013. EDAC, according to member David Ferro, is a group of people from different backgrounds who came together with their own ideas about how to grow the Alachua County economy and were able to agree on an implementation plan. “The group in this room tonight can truly change the next 20 years in Alachua County,” he said.

The first meeting sought public opinion concerning the outlined initiatives, and the next meeting will be announced at a later date.

“Good is the enemy of great, and when you look at our community that’s right where we are,” said Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce President Tim Giuliani. “The world economy right now is about $60 trillion. The world we’re going to live in in 30 years – that economy – will be about $300 trillion. The question is who are going to be the winners and who are going to be the losers?”

To read the full list or to submit a Public Comment Form visit

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