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home business & innovation Supporting the Future of Business: Entrepreneur Resource Center By Jordan Meyer T he future of Gainesville’s business community is very bright, and much of that is because of entrepreneurs and small businesses that are being created and are thriving. As our community continues to develop, much of that development hinges on the success of our very own home-grown companies. In 2012, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce launched its Entrepreneur Resource Center (ERC) with the goal of championing the growth of local small business by providing opportunities for networking, visibility, referrals, education and training. “The Chamber understands the importance of entrepreneurs and small business in our community,” said Tim Giuliani, President & CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce & Council for Economic Outreach. “ The nurturing and growth of our local startups and entrepreneurs will help define the future success and development of our local economy.” Many successful entrepreneurs are championing the effort because of this tremendous resource that is now available in our community. You can contact the Chamber’s ERC by calling (352) 334-7100 or visiting www.gainesvillechamber.com/ERC. Jarad Bowens, Owner of G-nys Entertainment “Gainesville is an excellent place to start a new business.” In a growing, innovation-based economy, the foundation and diversity of small business is huge. For a community like Gainesville, businesses of all sizes and services can grow and thrive. The word “community” is one that is used often, but here, it truly means something. “I didn’t originally plan to start my company in Gainesville,” said Jarad Bowens, owner of G-nys (Genius Entertainment). “But I was driven to do so because of the support and encouragement I found here in the community, as well as a great market for my services.” G-nys Entertainment was created in the fall of 2009 and has grown into a full-service entertainment and mobile disk jockey service that offers professional DJs and MCs for a variety of events, live musicians/entertainment, audio support and dance services. “The ERC has been a big help to our business, mostly in the form of the programs that they have been putting together to connect us with other small business owners,” Bowens said. “The programs are great for business owners and give us a chance to share our knowledge with each other, as well as gain knowledge from others.” Albey Coronel, Creative Director of neutral7 “Communicating directly with other professionals is huge.” The sense of Gainesville community is not lost on Albey Coronel, Creative Director of neutral7 design group. “There is a huge sense of community in Gainesville, which means that people like to work with people they know, and even better—with their friends,” Coronel said. “This translates into success for businesses that get involved and get themselves out there.” In April of 2007, neutral7 design group officially opened with a passion to create things that matter. Since then, it has grown to a graphic design and graphic production company that focuses in delivering extraordinary quality in its products and services. “I think the value of being able to communicate directly with other professionals is huge with the ERC,” Coronel said. “Being able to learn and share ideas is where the benefit shines.” Meredith Leigh, CEO & Principal of dr3 design “The Chamber’s network of support for companies just getting started is invaluable.” Meredith Leigh, the CEO and Principal of dr3 design, is the definition of a start-up company. Leigh began her business in May 2012 and just graduated in December from the University of Florida with a doctorate in design, construction and planning. “Having just completed my dissertation, I am now focused on nurturing and growing the business and working toward some long-and short-term goals,” Leigh said. “As a small business owner, you should take advantage of any opportunity to get your name out there, and it pays forward by letting other small business owners just starting out know that there is a network in Gainesville and a place they can go for information on getting started and running a business.” As a small design firm, dr3 design HOME Living In the Heart of Florida 46

Supporting The Future Of Business: Entrepreneur Resource Center

Jordan Meyer

Entrepreneur Resource Center

The future of Gainesville’s business community is very bright, and much of that is because of entrepreneurs and small businesses that are being created and are thriving.As our community continues to develop, much of that development hinges on the success of our very own homegrown companies.

In 2012, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce launched its Entrepreneur Resource Center (ERC) with the goal of championing the growth of local small business by providing opportunities for networking, visibility, referrals, education and training.

“The Chamber understands the importance of entrepreneurs and small business in our community,” said Tim Giuliani, President & CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce & Council for Economic Outreach. “ The nurturing and growth of our local startups and entrepreneurs will help define the future success and development of our local economy.”

Many successful entrepreneurs are championing the effort because of this tremendous resource that is now available in our community. You can contact the Chamber’s ERC by calling (352) 334-7100 or visiting www.gainesvillechamber.com/ERC.

Jarad Bowens, Owner of G-nys Entertainment “Gainesville is an excellent place to start a new business.”

In a growing, innovation-based economy, the foundation and diversity of small business is huge. For a community like Gainesville, businesses of all sizes and services can grow and thrive. The word “community” is one that is used often, but here, it truly means something.

“I didn’t originally plan to start my company in Gainesville,” said Jarad Bowens, owner of G-nys (Genius Entertainment). “But I was driven to do so because of the support and encouragement I found here in the community, as well as a great market for my services.”

G-nys Entertainment was created in the fall of 2009 and has grown into a full-service entertainment and mobile disk jockey service that offers professional Djs and Mcs for a variety of events, live musicians/entertainment, audio support and dance services.

“The ERC has been a big help to our business, mostly in the form of the programs that they have been putting together to connect us with other small business owners,” Bowens said. “The programs are great for business owners and give us a chance to share our knowledge with each other, as well as gain knowledge from others.”

Albey Coronel, Creative Director of neutral7 “Communicating directly with other professionals is huge.”

The sense of Gainesville community is not lost on Albey Coronel, Creative Director of neutral7 design group.

“There is a huge sense of community in Gainesville, which means that people like to work with people they know, and even better—with their friends,” Coronel said. “This translates into success for businesses that get involved and get themselves out there.”

In April of 2007, neutral7 design group officially opened with a passion to create things that matter. Since then, it has grown to a graphic design and graphic production company that focuses in delivering extraordinary quality in its products and services.

“I think the value of being able to communicate directly with other professionals is huge with the ERC,” Coronel said. “Being able to learn and share ideas is where the benefit shines.”

Meredith Leigh, CEO & Principal of dr3 design “The Chamber’s network of support for companies just getting started is invaluable.”

Meredith Leigh, the CEO and Principal of dr3 design, is the definition of a start-up company. Leigh began her business in May 2012 and just graduated in December from the University of Florida with a doctorate in design, construction and planning.

“Having just completed my dissertation, I am now focused on nurturing and growing the business and working toward some longand short-term goals,” Leigh said. “As a small business owner, you should take advantage of any opportunity to get your name out there, and it pays forward by letting other small business owners just starting out know that there is a network in Gainesville and a place they can go for information on getting started and running a business.”

As a small design firm, dr3 design Specializes in landscape architecture services for public and private clients. Made up of three doctoral students from the University of Florida, it specializes in urban design, parks and recreation, urban agriculture, cultural landscapes, design graphics and residential design and implementation.

“The ERC has made its availability to help us out whenever we needed them, it’s great to know that resource is there,” Leigh said. “Through the Chamber, so many other small business owners have contacted me to let me know they are willing to help us out for whatever reason.”

Kevin Weschler, President of 2 College Brothers “The ERC acts as a gateway to meet leaders you would have never otherwise been able to meet.”

For Kevin Weschler, innovative, bright ideas began in the back of his father’s “soccermom van.” Since 2 College Brothers’ creation in October 2010, Weschler’s company has grown from strapping mattresses to that van’s roof to operating a student-run moving company in Gainesville, Miami, Tallahassee and Orlando.

“We realized that college towns were our niche market,” Weschler said. “The best thing about Gainesville, though, is the amount of resources available.”

Currently incubating at the Santa Fe Center for Innovation and Economic Development , 2 College Brothers has taken advantage of connections made possible by a small, tight-knit community with a wide variety of resources available through the ERC.“Several aspects of my business such as accounting, bookkeeping and payroll are outsourced to Gainesville businesses that I somehow got connected with through the Chamber,” Weschler said. “Knowing that a business is a fellow member of the Chamber provides a sense of trust and legitimacy.”

Kristen Hadeed, Owner of Student Maid “The ERC represents the future of Gainesville.”

When Kristen Hadeed began Student Maid in 2009, she knew that joining the Chamber would allow her to be put in networks that she normally would not have been able to be a part of because of her young age. However, over three years later and managing more than 300 students during their busiest seasons, that investment paid off.

“The Chamber has been instrumental to our success,” Hadeed said.“Upon joining, I felt instantly connected to the business community and was immediately able to cultivate long lasting relationships.”

Student Maid is a full-service company, offering virtually all cleaning or concierge services. It only hire students who meet a minimum 3.5 GPA requirement and employs anywhere between 50 and 300 students at a time, depending on the season.

“I love that the ERC represents the future of Gainesville,” Hadeed said. “We are lucky that our Chamber not only cares about the existing businesses in our community, but also the companies of the future.”

Read the full article at http://vpub.boyd-printing.com/article/Supporting+The+Future+Of+Business%3A+Entrepreneur+Resource+Center/1319387/146864/article.html.

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