Tue, April 12, 2016
The West Orange Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that GrowFL, Florida’s leading organization in support of second-stage growth companies, is now accepting nominations and applications for its annual Florida Companies to Watch® awards program. The event – now in its sixth year – honors 50 select second-stage companies from throughout the state for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and creating new industries throughout Florida.
Eligible applicants must be privately held, “second-stage” commercial enterprises. Qualifying companies must also be headquartered in the state of Florida, employ between six and 150 employees, and earn between $750,000 and $100 million in annual revenue. A selection panel of judges representing areas of economic development, banking, entrepreneurship and small business select winners based on fast and/or high growth in employment rates and revenue. Award recipients must also demonstrate unique strengths and traits including entrepreneurial leadership, product innovation, social/community responsibility and competitive business practices.
“We are excited to again present this prestigious awards program to honor exemplary second-stage businesses who have become an integral part of Florida’s economic landscape,” says Dr. Tom O’Neal, GrowFL Executive Director. “We received a record number of nominations last year and expect the same in 2016. This in itself says a lot about the drive and motivation of entrepreneurs throughout our state.”
GrowFL is a statewide economic development organization certified by the National Center for Economic Gardening through the Edward Lowe Foundation, a national, nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through research, recognition and educational programs. The foundation focuses on second-stage companies — those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. GrowFL, in turn, helps second-stage companies in Florida overcome obstacles and leads them towards prosperity by providing strategies, resources and support designed to prepare them for next level success. A typical Florida Companies to Watch class is comprised of businesses who collectively gross over $450 million in annual revenue, add more than 350 new jobs per year, average a 30% increase in earnings and experience almost 20% growth in employees annually.
Nominations are open through May 6, 2016. Second stage businesses may also apply directly to the program through May 31, 2016. The 2016 Florida Companies to Watch awards will be held on Thursday, November 3rd at the Hard Rock Live, CityWalk Orlando. For more information or to nominate a company, please visit http://GrowFL.com/flctw16/.