Florida cities have been actively supporting new and existing businesses with a variety of initiatives.

The City of Doral recently invited businesses to participate in the Doral Vendor and Business Fair at the Doral Cultural Arts Center. This event provided an opportunity for vendors to learn how to register as a vendor with the City, as well as foster connections with City departments and promote local economic growth. Key City staff gave presentations that highlighted topics including grants and sponsorships. There were over 100 attendees. The City plans to repeat the event.

The City of Gainesville recently recognized participants in its Small Business Mentoring Program at a Gainesville City Commission meeting. This initiative aims to support the increasing growth and development of small businesses by pairing newer companies with more mature, experienced companies to serve as mentors. There were 24 companies in the most recent 12-month program. A reception honoring the participants was held following the ceremony.

The City of Palatka Community Affairs and Planning Departments recently joined with other groups and businesses to hold a networking event aimed at discussing business opportunities in the Community Redevelopment Agency’s Business District. The event was held at the Azalea City Brewery in Palatka. Other groups helped coordinate the event including the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, the University of North Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC), TD Bank, Capital City Bank and Ameris Bank.

The event aimed to foster relationships and support between businesses, city officials, and departments. It also sought to increase awareness of the CRA, attract new businesses, retain existing ones and enhance networking opportunities for small businesses.

Speakers at the event included Rick Paul, SBDC business consultant, Palatka Mayor Robbi Correa and Palatka Assistant City Manager Jonathan Griffith. For more information on the Small Business Development Center, visit unf.edu/SBDC.

The City of Port St. Lucie Office of Business Tax recently offered a free Pathway to Business Expo at the Port St. Lucie Community Center.

The Business Expo provided a platform for local business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to connect, learn and collaborate. The event featured an open forum where participants engaged with representatives from nearly two dozen federal, state, county and private agencies. This opportunity allowed attendees to pose questions, seek advice and gain insights directly from experts in various fields.

The Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College sponsored the event.

The Sarasota City Commission recently recognized the first three businesses in its new Legacy Business Program. The Commission adopted this program to honor local businesses for the contributions they make to the overall culture, economic development and prosperity of the City. To be considered, a business must be for-profit, operate in the city limits for at least 20 cumulative years and operate a storefront where customers can make purchases or receive services. Businesses fill out an application to be considered as a  Legacy Business. Each company selected experiences multiple benefits:

  • A proclamation from the City Commission at a meeting
  • A branded window decal
  • Addition to a public-facing GIS map on the Legacy Business Program website
  • Posts on the City’s social media platforms.