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Gainesville 20/20

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Starting a business has never been easy, Glaeser said. But in his experience, he’s found that a supportive city atmosphere can make the process much smoother. Ultimately, the heart of community development is a dedication to help, he said. At present, we see a healthy push from the city and its partners to facilitate Gainesville’s entrepreneurs.

“There is an attitude and element that is taking root here in Gainesville, that we encourage and are excited about the innovation class and those who want to start a business,” Glaeser said. “There’s much work that has been done, and there’s much work still to do.”

In fact, Gainesville’s development is like a space shuttle taking off, he said. The space shuttle stands in position with smoke billowing from below. Everyone’s watching the countdown clock as the moment gets closer, but instead of racing down to 0:00 and blast off – the clock pauses. During these holds, the launch team comes together to perform tasks necessary for the eventual blast off.

“I think Gainesville has gone through the pause recently,” Glaeser said. “We have all collaborated very well together for all the stakeholders of the region, that typically weren’t talking to each other, were able to sit down and collaborate.”

These partnerships have developed an economic machine to pioneer Gainesville.

“The greatest example of that would be the innovation district, and what happened with that area between downtown Gainesville and the University of Florida,” he said. “That transformative process taking place has been done through that pause period. They’re about to start the countdown clock and great things are ahead.”

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