The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the 2015 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony on Friday, September 18, at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. More than 600 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay’s small business community and toasted the evening’s big winners. This year’s event was presented by Bay Cities Bank & Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors and represents the 35th year the Chamber has recognized this key segment of the region’s economy. Small business awards were presented in three categories based on the number of employees and a fourth business category honoring a startup company. Companies are evaluated on financial success, community involvement and ethical business practices.
The 2015 Small Business of the Year Award winners are:
Startup Company: Bourbon and Boweties
Bourbon and Boweties is a jewelry brand most recognizable for its wire-wrapped bangles adorned with semi-precious stones. Each bangle is hand-crafted in the Tampa Bay area. Over the past few years, the company has hosted trunk shows with hundreds of retailers including Lilly Pulitzer Signature Stores, Jack Rogers and Nordstrom. Bourbon and Boweties’ signature bangles can be found in more than 2,500 boutiques and in Nordstrom locations across the country. As a company with local roots, Bourbon and Boweties often donates jewelry to local charities for fundraisers including Wine Women & Shoes, Wine to Wine and Relay for Life.
5 – 20 Employees: Flatwoods Consulting Group, Inc.
Flatwoods Consulting Group Inc. assists clients in navigating the complex environmental regulations associated with wetlands, wildlife and water. Flatwoods works at the intersection of natural resources and development with public and private sector clients on projects that involve mining, transportation, utilities, agriculture, industry and residential or commercial development. Flatwoods supports several charitable organizations that promote science education and environmental causes including the Florida Association for Water Quality Control and the State Science & Engineering Fair of Florida.
21 – 50 Employees: Tudi Mechanical Systems of Tampa, Inc.
Tudi Mechanical Systems is a mechanical repair service company specializing in HVAC, electrical, plumbing, indoor air quality, design-build projects and preventive maintenance. Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News recognized Tudi as one of the four best contractors to work for in the country. Since 2007, Tudi has quickly become the area’s premier full-service building management partner, servicing many of Tampa’s commercial, industrial and hospital facilities. Tudi supports several community initiatives including the Muscular Dystrophy Association and raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.
51 – 250 Employees: Bill Currie Ford
Bill Currie Ford is a full-service automotive dealership that has been incorporated in Tampa for 55 years. The company manages new and pre-owned sales, automotive service, parts, a collision center, as well as a separate “Buy Here Pay Here” operation. In 2014, annual sales exceeded $99 million. Corporate citizenship and community involvement are at the heart of Bill Currie Ford’s business philosophy. Among the numerous causes they support, Bill Currie Ford works with the Children’s Cancer Center, Jason Ackerman Foundation, Metropolitan Ministries and Tijuana Flats Foundation, raising over $100,000 within the last year alone for those organizations.