Group will honor businesses


Published: Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 4:43 p.m.

East Gainesville is attracting new businesses at a pace never seen before, and a local organization wants to recognize the contributions those businesses are making in the community.

The East Gainesville Development Corporation is seeking nominations for several different categories.

Completed nominations for "Business of the Year," "New Business of the Year," "Advocate of the Year," "Community Partner of the Year" and "Non-Profit of the Year" will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8.

Those interested in submitting nominations must send them to Odetta MacLeish White, East Gainesville Awards Chairman, P.O. Box 1443, Gainesville, 32601. For those needing forms, e-mail MacLeish White at OMW71@gru.net.

Winners will be recognized at the 11th annual Meeting & Business Awards ceremony, which will be held Thursday, March 13.

MacLeish White said this is the first year awards will be officially presented at the group's annual meeting. However, there are no monetary prizes.

"This is just to recognize our partners in east Gainesville and to say thank you," said MacLeish White. The EGDC, in fulfillment of its vision of east Gainesville as a great place to work, live and play, has established these awards to recognize organizations and individuals making a sustained and vibrant contribution to the east Gainesville community."

MacLeish White said the EGDC defines east Gainesville as any area east of NW 13th Street.

The EGDC was started as the East Gainesville Development Task Force in 1997 to create focus on the lack of businesses and housing development in east Gainesville and to act as an advocate and organizing entity for quality development ideas.

For the "Business of the Year" award, the nominee must have operated a business in east Gainesville for a minimum of five years and have residents of east Gainesville on its payroll, as well as several other criteria.

A nominee for the "New Business of the Year" award must have operated a business in east Gainesville for at least one year, but no more than five years. The business also must show that east Gainesville residents are on the payroll and demonstrate plans to positively impact the east Gainesville economy through job creation and retention, as well as several other criteria.

The "Advocate of the Year" nominee must be able to demonstrate a commitment to enhancing the quality of life in east Gainesville and must demonstrate evidence of leadership on issues specific to east Gainesville.

The "Community Partner of the Year" nominee must have an investment in east Gainesville non-profit organizations and must demonstrate senior leadership involvement in east Gainesville through board service, among other criteria.

The "Non-profit of the Year" nominee must provide proof of its 501(C), tax-exempt status, demonstrate evidence of service to the east Gainesville Community and must also demonstrate a commitment to serving east Gainesville in the future.

Nona Jones, chairman and CEO of EGDC, said the event will be free and open to the public, with EGDC providing food and entertainment.

Jones said the meeting is not only a community event, but a fundraiser as well to help support the work EGDC does. The group is asking for sponsors to become a "Supporting Partner" by making a $250 investment.

For more information, call (866) 535-5040 ext. 1, or visit www.EGDC.org.

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