Certified Welcoming Business Initiative

Welcoming Gainesville & Alachua County, Inc., (WG&AC) is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit dedicated to making Gainesville, Florida, an inclusive community that welcomes immigrants, international students, and refugees and celebrates diversity as a source of strength and innovation. Part of the nationwide Welcoming America network, WG&AC accomplishes this mission by creating and promoting immigrant-friendly policies, communicating welcoming principles and the benefits of inclusion among residents, and organizing programs and events that unite individuals from a variety of backgrounds.

The vision for WG&AC is to establish a city in which individual residents, local government, businesses, nonprofits, faith communities, institutions of higher learning, and other organizations work together to create a climate that welcomes immigrants and supports their long-term integration into our community. This vision is founded in the principles of eliminating prejudice, celebrating diversity, and assisting newcomers in becoming established in our community.

It is with this vision in mind that WG&AC is looking for a selection of small, local businesses with storefronts to act as pilot sites for our new Welcoming Business Initiative.  The Welcoming Business Initiative is designed for three purposes: to solidify stronger and more numerous partnerships between the WG&AC’s organization and the Gainesville community, to instill confidence in Gainesville’s newcomers that designated businesses will be welcoming and inclusive, and to spread awareness of WG&AC’s mission within the greater Gainesville population.

In the beginning phase of this program, WG&AC is asking businesses to sell its “We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor” yard signs in the same location that customers purchase goods and/or services from the business. In return, participating businesses will receive:

  • One “We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor” sign
  • One “Welcoming Gainesville and Alachua County” Member Sticker
  • Name and Logo on WG&AC’s website as well as all distributed newcomer resources and other marketing materials

WG&AC envisions expansion of this program in the near future to include greater sponsorship capacities and partnering opportunities. We greatly appreciate your interest in getting involved at the early stages and we thank you for your commitment to making Gainesville and Alachua County a more inclusive place.

The Sister City Program of Gainesville
Kalishman Law
United Nations Association-USA Gainesville Chapter
Congregation B'Nai Israel
Zeezeenia International Kitchen & Market
Falafel King Sandwiches
Khadija Foundation
River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding
Emmanuel Mennonite Church of Gainesville
Emmanuel Mennonite Church
Beltram Peace Center

Become a Certified Welcoming Business!

Welcoming Gainesville & Alachua County’s 352 Membership Program supports efforts to “make newcomers neighbors” and welcome foreign-born residents into community life. WG&AC members support the development and operation of programs that ease newcomer challenges and increase understanding among new and long-time residents. As the area code for the Gainesville, FL region, “352” corresponds directly to each membership level and ensures our fundraising activities stay closely connected to our roots:

Individual$3.52/month ($42.24/year)

Family$10.56/month (3 x $3.52 or $126.72/year)

Business/Organization: $35.20/month (10 x $3.52 or $422.40/year)

Read more about our membership giving options or make your first member payment by clicking the “Donate” below.

We also appreciate non-membership donations of any giving level.

Gifts can be made online or with cash or check. To donate online through PayPal, visit:


Cash or check may be mailed to:

Welcoming Gainesville & Alachua County
5055 SW 91st Terrace
Gainesville FL 32608
Email: welcominggainesville@gmail.com

Thank you for your support!

Certified Welcoming Business Application Form