From The Editor – Winter 2023

There’s nothing like the start of a new year to inspire new ideas for yourself and your business. With that in mind, the Editorial Board and our team of writers at Evolve Magazine are excited to bring you this issue: New Year, New Business Ideas. Inside, you’ll find content that we hope ignites your curiosity, illuminates some challenges on the horizon and, most importantly, explores new solutions and innovative approaches to thriving in the year ahead.

What better way to set the tone for a fun and successful new year than to feature some phenomenal “Youthpreneurs” on our cover? Ranging in age from 15 to 22, these young women epitomize tenacity, and their experiences also shine a light on how following your passion can often be the fastest track to success. It’s also worth noting that these young women succeeded with not only the help of friends and family but also support from a network of business owners, mentors and leaders. They learned early on what we know to be true at Evolve (and one of the main reasons we exist) that community, connection and lifetime learning are essential components for entrepreneurial success.

Speaking of community, we continue to experience explosive growth across Northeast Florida, as some studies show more than 900 people a day moving to the State of Florida. The new First Coast Expressway is one way our region is working to support that growth. We took a deep dive into how the 46-mile roadway, which connects I-10 to I-95, will change travel patterns from Clay to St. Johns to Duval County and, in doing so, impact the business community.

We also know that workforce will continue to be a hot topic for business owners in 2023, so we took a look at some ways our region is tackling the issue. You’ll read about how a program called Earn Up, powered by JAXUSA Partnership (a division of the JAX Chamber), is addressing the talent shortage on the First Coast by attracting and developing talent and connecting them with local businesses. We also talked with Florida Blue to hear how they are innovating to meet business’ health care needs, and we even examined trends around employees and their pets. Inside you’ll find out more about how businesses are leveraging people’s love of their furry family members to attract and retain talent and also garner new business.

There’s even more inside this issue, including a special edition of the Road Ahead, by Publisher Howard Holley, who shares how Evolve will expand its offerings to the First Coast business community in 2023. Enjoy!