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Florida Small Business



September 20, 2018

Business Florida 2018 - The Regions

Town Meets Gown

| 9/22/2017

North Central


Health Care

GAINESVILLE U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals 2017-18” ranks UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in the top 35 in cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; and pulmonology. Its adult counterpart — UF Health Shands Hospital — was named among “Best Hospitals 2017-18” in nephrology (No. 25), diabetes and endocrinology (No. 31), pulmonology (No. 34) and gynecology (No. 35).

OCALA Ocala Health plans to grow its Ocala Regional Medical Center by 34 inpatient beds, 12 emergency room beds and two large operating rooms. The $56-million project will add 35,000 square feet and renovate 50,000 square feet of existing space. In December 2016, Ocala Health broke ground on an expansion at its West Marion Community Hospital to add 36 medical/surgical and eight ICU patient beds, nine emergency exam rooms and two operating rooms.

OCALA In June 2017, Munroe Regional Medical Center opened its 12-bed Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the first such facility in Marion County. The medical center delivers around 2,500 babies each year.

Key Players

Munroe Regional Medical Center | Ocala
Ocala Health System | Ocala
UF Health | Gainesville

Opening in December 2017, UF Health’s new Heart & Vascular Hospital will feature eight operating rooms, three of which will be hybrid ORs offering flexible diagnostic and surgical set-ups to address the most complex cardiac and vascular conditions.



ALACHUA Nanotherapeutics has received a 10-year $159-million contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to develop and evaluate biopharmaceutical products for the diagnosis and treatment of infectious disease.

GAINESVILLE Mérieux NutriSciences has relocated its food testing facility closer to the University of Florida campus where it will continue to provide food safety and quality research services for foodservice manufacturers, providers and restaurant chains throughout the Southeast. Thirty jobs will be added over the next two years.

GAINESVILLE The University of Florida received a record $724 million in research grants in FY2015-16, a 24% increase since 2005-06. More than half of this year’s funding came from federal agencies, led by the National Institutes of Health at $179 million.

ALACHUA University of Florida’s Sid Martin Biotechnology Institute has been singled out from among 7,500 institutions as 2017 “Biotech Incubator of the Year” by the International Business Innovation Association. Since 1990, SMBI has supported more than 100 startups in biotechnology, biomedicine and bioagriculture and has helped create more than 2,200 jobs.

Key Players

AGTC | Alachua
Nanotherapeutics | Alachua



ALACHUA COUNTY Construction is under way at Florida Power & Light’s Horizon Solar Energy Center on 1,315 acres straddling Alachua and Putnam counties. Completion: January 1, 2018.

Key Players

Duke Energy Florida | St. Petersburg
Florida Power & Light | Juno Beach

After opening its Perry Solar Facility in Taylor County in 2016, Duke Energy Florida began constructing another solar power plant on 70 acres in Suwannee County near Live Oak. The 8.8-megawatt Suwannee Solar Facility, scheduled for completion by 2018, is the third in Duke’s long-range plan to install 500 megawatts of solar power in Florida by 2024.


Business/Financial Services

OCALA Sarasota-based Progressive Employer Management Company (Pemco) has opened an office here to provide payroll, human resources and employee benefits services. Founded in 1999, Pemco services the professional, medical, hospitality, industrial and nonprofit sectors, among others. The Ocala office is the firm’s ninth location; a tenth is set to open in Miami in late 2017.

GAINESVILLE One of the nation’s largest insurance and financial services companies, Nationwide will add 360 employees over three years and invest $7.4 million in construction and renovations at its Gainesville campus.

Key Players

Nationwide Insurance | Gainesville
Sitel | Lake City


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