Tampa Bay companies stand out on GrowFL 50 Florida Companies to Watch List

Flexing some serious economic muscle, the Tampa Bay region has landed 17 businesses on the 2019 GrowFL list of 50 Florida Companies to Watch.

Now in its ninth year, the annual recognition honors second-stage companies for employee growth, revenues, and community contributions.

“We honor these people because they’re too big to be small and too small to be big,” says GrowFL Executive Director Tom O’Neal. “They’re kind of in no man’s land when it comes to the size of their companies. But this is the sweet spot for them to grow and we look for companies that are looking to grow, not stagnant companies.

Tampa Bay leads the way among the state’s metropolitan areas this year.

“Tampa Bay is knocking it out of the park,” he says. They certainly did with us. This is the first time that the greater Orlando area didn’t have the most companies. You guys really had a significant amount. I’m from Tampa, born near MacDill Air Force Base, and it warms my heart to see that whole area excel. The last few years you guys have really had strong showings.”

Run out of the University of Central Florida, GrowFL is an economic development program that provides technical support, market research, peer roundtables, and professional forums to second-stage companies. O’Neal says those are typically businesses with a minimum of seven to ten employees and a maximum of approximately 100 and about $1 million in revenues. They are past the start-up stage but still have significant room to grow.

O’Neal says a little less than 10 percent of the companies in Florida qualify as second-stage, and they represent 30 to 40 percent of the jobs.

The Tampa Bay area companies on the 2019 list represent a broad range of industries such as industrial and medical manufacturing, engineering, information technology, administrative and business support and more. Air ambulance patient transport, home-butter making equipment manufacturing, and doctor-patient teleconference for virtual appointments are among the unique areas.

Many of the companies have been in operation for five years or less.

Here is a list of the Tampa Bay Area’s companies cited by GrowFL:

  • Beryl Project Engineering (Tampa): Home inspection and structural engineering
  • BioDerm Inc. (Largo): Medical manufacturer
  • Davis Industrial (Tampa): Industrial manufacturing and maintenance
  • EarthBalance (North Port): Ecological restoration and consulting
  • ECHO UES, Inc. (Tampa): Utility, engineering, and survey
  • FLYMOTION (Tampa): Unmanned aerial solutions
  • Global Jetcare, Inc. (Brooksville): Air ambulance patient transport
  • MagicalButter (Port Richey): Home butter-making equipment and supply manufacturer
  • MAS Environmental LLC. (Tampa): Environmental solutions and remediation
  • McCormick Stevenson Corporation (Clearwater): Mechanical engineering
  • Mother Kombucha (St. Petersburg): Kombucha tea brewery and sales
  • OnMed LLC (Clearwater): Health technology and doctor-patient teleconferencing
  • SiteREADY (Tampa): Information technology for corporate real estate
  • StrataPT, LLC (Osprey): Administrative and business support for physical and occupational therapy practices
  • TeleVoIPs (Brandon): Business telecommunications
  • Vistra Communications (Lutz): Public relations, marketing communications, advertising
  • WestCMR, LLC (Clearwater): Discount surgical supply sales.

In total, the 50 companies on the GrowFL list generated nearly $1 billion in revenue and added more than 900 jobs from 2015 to 2018. Combined, they project a 35 percent increase in revenue and a 39 percent increase in job growth from 2018 to 2019.

Here are links to learn more about the organization and program in this story: GrowFL, 50 Florida Companies to Watch

Here are links to learn more about the Tampa Bay companies on the 50 Florida Companies to Watch List: Beryl Project Engineering, BioDerm, Davis Industrial, EarthBalance, ECHO UES, Inc, FLYMOTION, Global Jetcare, Inc., MagicalButter, MAS Environmental LLC, McCormick Stevenson Corporation, Mother Kombucha, OnMed, SiteREADY, StrataPT, LLC, TeleVoIPs, Vistra Communications, West CMR LLC

Read more articles by Christopher Curry.

Chris Curry is a freelance writer living in Clearwater. Chris spent more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys our local music scene, great weather and the wealth of outdoor festivals.
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