Chamber honors top businesses, including Info Tech, New Scooters 4 Less
November 13, 2014
Info Tech was named Best Overall Large Business and New Scooters 4 Less won Best Overall Small Business at the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year Awards Friday.
The awards were among nine categories recognizing local businesses and a nonprofit organization for excellence and innovation in business and community involvement out of 50 nominations.
Nearly 300 people attended the luncheon ceremony in the Best Western Gateway Grand ballroom.
Info Tech won in the category for companies with more than 250 employees and more than $20 million in yearly revenue. The company makes software to manage road construction and bid projects and plans to build a new office building in the Celebration Pointe development. Other large business finalists were Infinite Energy and Mindtree.
New Scooters 4 Less, a scooter retailer, recently opened a second location and won in the category for companies with fewer than 250 employees and $20 million in revenues. Other finalists were 2 College Brothers, Student Maid and Thomas Group Realty.
For the first time, nominees were judged based on the criteria of the U.S. Chamber’s Dream Big Small Business Awards and finalists — other than the large business winner — will be nominated for that award. The criteria includes excellence in business strategies and goals, staff training and motivation, customer service and community involvement. Three panels of three people each scored the nominations.
Applicants received feedback on areas that need improvement and were connected to local consultants, said Adrian Taylor, Chamber vice president of business development.
“That was another goal of the awards — not only recognition, but also to provide information that makes our businesses stronger,” he said.
Other awards and finalists were:
• Leading Women’s Enterprise, for businesses with majority female ownership: Winner: Cloud 9 Spa Salon. Finalists: Pepine Realty and Student Maid.
• Commitment to the Environment: Winner: Solar Impact. Finalists: Power Production Management and Swamp Head Brewery.
• Best Minority Owned Business, with at least 51 percent minority ownership: Winner: The Best Restoration. Finalists: Caring & Sharing Learning School and Reggae Shack.
• Best New/Startup Business, in business two years or less: Winner: First Magnitude Brewing Company. Finalists: Know Where Coffee and Northwestern Mutual.
• Best Nonprofit: Winner: Children’s Home Society of Florida. Finalists: Community Foundation of North Central Florida and United Way.
• Best Tech Company: Winner: Mindtree. Finalists: Optym and West Designs.
• Best Manufacturing Company: Winner: Endoscopy Replacement Parts. Finalists: First Magnitude Brewing Company and Swamp Head Brewery.