5 Little Known, but Huge Resources for Gainesville Business Owners

Original blog post by Front Street Associate Director, Jason Hurst

Over the past year or two, I have to say that I am very impressed with the level of commitment that has been exerted by the City of Gainesville and their business community, along with the help of the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, to effectuate change and foster innovation in the community. It is truly inspiring, contagious and a true testament to the fine leadership that has been established in our city.  There have been some exciting initiatives set in motion that will dictate a culture of success for this city for at least the next 50 years and I'm excited to be a part of this great community.  In my day-to-day interactions with key leaders in the business community, I have come across some valuable, value added resources that would benefit a great deal of entrepreneurs, but get very little advertising or publicity.  So in an effort to share them and get the word out, I've compiled them into this blog post and here they are:

Gainesville CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency)

Urban redevelopment is a coordinated effort to enhance our community's assets while constantly improving the cityscape.

The CRA has moved forward with a variety of projects; some of which (such as historic rehabilitations, streetscape improvements and fa├žade enhancements) enrich existing elements within a redevelopment area.  Other CRA projects will provide exciting new features such as gateway fixtures, public art, high density residential, mixed use, and commercial developments.

The Tech Toybox

The Tech Toybox helps individuals and businesses turn ideas into working models and teach people how to rapidly make proof-of-concept demonstrations of ideas. With both engineering and science, they make early prototypes and perform research and development projects.

Tech Toybox has a wide range of experience and has developed everything from flat panel displays to infrared devices, to medical device prototypes, and all forms of electronics. They are eager to help anybody who wishes to create early stage prototypes.

Manufacturing Equipment Sales Tax Exemption

Governor Rick Scott recently enacted Florida HB 7007 to create a sales tax exemption for industrial machinery and equipment purchased by manufacturers. As of April of this year, purchases of industrial machinery and equipment used by an eligible manufacturing business at a fixed location in Florida to manufacture, process, compound, or produce for sale items of tangible personal property will be exempt from sales tax. An "eligible manufacturing business" is a business that primarily engages in business activities within the industries classified under manufacturing NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes 31, 32, and 33 at the location where the industrial machinery and equipment are located. Eligible types of manufacturing establishments include, but are not limited to food, apparel, wood, paper, printing, chemical, pharmaceutical, plastic, rubber, metal, transportation, and furniture.

Gainesville SCORE

The Gainesville Chapter of the SCORE organization provides free and confidential business counseling tailored to meet the needs of small business and their personal objectives. They also offer a series of workshops (some are free of charge, and some require a modest fee) for both start-up entrepreneurs and small business owners already in operation.

Blue Oven Kitchen

Blue Oven Kitchens is a not-for-profit, commercial kitchen incubator serving North Central Florida. Its mission is to foster a whole-system approach to the sustainable growth of the North Central Florida food system. They provide and promote foodways, foodshed, food economics, and food safety research and education; and we incubate low-income and disadvantaged food entrepreneurs.

For more information, contact Jason Hurst at Jason@frontstreet.net, or click here for more Front Street news...

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Jason Hurst

Jason Hurst is a Chicagoland native who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Masters of Business Administration from the School of Business & Industry at Florida A&M University with a concentration in Finance. He has 7 years of successful experience with a variety of Fortune 100 companies such as Pfizer, Inc., JP Morgan, and State Farm Insurance. Jason began his career as a Wall Street analyst in Manhattan and has endeavored into both finance and sales during his corporate career. Jason also has experience as a savvy entrepreneur and has run three successful businesses across various industries. Jason has pioneered the Economic Empowerment ministry at Alive Church; specializing in job creation, business education and economic development. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for both the Salvation Army and the North Central Florida YMCA and is a proud member of the Alachua County Emerging Leaders (ACEL) organization.

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