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Business leaders and stakeholders across Greater Gainesville have joined together to support the launch of Inclusive Gainesville, a community-wide approach to equitable economic development and inclusion. The Inclusive Gainesville launch press conference and reception will take place on Thursday, April 15, at 3 p.m. at the Cade Museum, 811 S. Main Street, Gainesville. CDC and social distancing protocols will be enforced.
Focusing on two core areas—Workforce Development and Supplier Diversity—and spearheaded by the Greater Gainesville Chamber, this initiative is a culmination of numerous conversations, sessions and studies to understand the economic inequities that exist across Gainesville.
The events and demonstrations of last year highlighted the need for communities across the country to take action and do more to create access to economic opportunities for minorities and historically marginalized communities, and help improve the quality of life and outcomes within these communities.
“We are excited to get to a point of activation,” Greater Gainesville Chamber President/CEO Eric Godet said. “Through our conversations with businesses leaders, we found that efforts around diversity varied—some were really advanced, and some were at the beginning stages. No matter where they were, however, everyone wanted to know how they could do more. While we launched this initiative with a small group, we hope to get buy-in from many more businesses as this initiative grows.”
“I am so excited to be part of this historic initiative,” said Kathey Porter, Founder/Principal of Porter Brown Associates and Inclusive Gainesville Advisor. “We hope minority businesses feel like they finally have an opportunity to start, grow and thrive and that they are part of a community invested in and rooting for their long-term success. I know the impact this will have, and it is exciting.”
Inclusive Gainesville includes:
Support for stakeholder businesses looking for guidance, focusing on following diversity best practices, adopting equitable practices and processes and building a more equitable workforce
A signature initiative called the Inclusive Gainesville Minority Business Accelerator (IGMBA), a comprehensive program designed to help minority businesses gain more traction doing business with other Gainesville businesses and stakeholders
Matchmaking activities that connect graduates of the IGMBA program with stakeholder companies
“This community has many wonderful assets that make Gainesville a great place to start a business, raise a family and build a life,” Godet said. “But we also know there is work to do if we are to reach our full potential. We have to show that Gainesville is a place in which equity and inclusion are the foundation of our success as a community and long-term prosperity. We must actively increase our efforts to battle the systemic issues that block equitable access to economic opportunities. This is our time to join together as a community and work collaboratively to demonstrate that we are committed to building a better future for all, not just the few.”
The Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce has been the voice of business in the Gainesville area since 1924. Representing over 1,300 members that employ more than 80,000 people, the Chamber is leading the effort to make the Gainesville region a global hub for talent, innovation and opportunity. The Chamber is 5-Star Accredited by the United States Chamber of Commerce, putting it in the top 1% of all Chambers nationwide. Learn more at www.GainesvilleChamber.com or call us at 352.334.7100.
About Porter Brown Associates
Porter Brown Associates is a Florida-based minority, woman, veteran-owned, DBE training and professional services firm specializing in entrepreneurship and workforce development training, and diversity, equity and inclusion consulting for clients across various public and private sectors.