June 8, 2015
Business Champions 2015

Top private companies focus on customer, employee, community satisfaction

Small, private businesses are the backbone of Connecticut's economy, but they don't always get the praise or recognition they deserve.

Our Business Champions awards aim to change that by highlighting companies that are not only innovative, market savvy, and profitable, but also community oriented and employee friendly.

The winners of our 13th annual Business Champions awards run the gamut from startups to seasoned companies in industries as diverse as accounting, marketing, real estate/construction, and financial services.

Hartford Business Journal once again joined with the MetroHartford Alliance in producing this year's awards.

In this special section, you'll meet some of the best privately held companies in Greater Hartford, as determined by our independent panel of judges. Nominees were judged on the basis of information they submitted covering several categories including innovation, community involvement, workforce practices, and year-over-year revenue growth.

West Hartford-based Scrubs and Stuff received top billing in the revenue category. The company, which grew its top line 86 percent last year, makes reference cards so nurses, doctors, physician assistants, and others have easy access to pertinent medical information like laboratory values or EKG interpretations.

East Hartford's Corporate Translations and Glastonbury marketing/ad agency Cronin and Co. topped the workforce practices category. Both companies have invested in robust training and wellness programs to keep employees informed and healthy. They also have flexible and friendly work environments incorporating leisure activities — like sports tournaments and catered cookouts — to lift employee morale.

West Hartford accounting firm BlumShapiro and Farmington-based KBE Building Corp. shared top honors for community involvement. Both companies place a premium on giving back by hosting charitable events, collecting food donations, or helping those in need.

Oxford Performance Materials Inc., a growing 3D printing manufacturer based in South Windsor, won the innovation category. The company makes precision parts that can replace bone in humans and aluminum in aircraft.

Finally, Bear's Smokehouse BBQ and Integrated Compliance Solutions, both of Hartford, shared the best new startup category. Bear's BBQ fixings have already become a mainstay for downtown Hartford dwellers and workers, while Integrated Compliance Solutions has found a niche providing regulatory compliance services to registered investment advisers.

Congratulations to each of our winners and every other company that took the challenge of competing in this year's Business Champions awards.

As always, we hope you'll find these stories inspirational, educational, and motivational.

– Greg Bordonaro, Editor

Categories and winners

Revenue: Scrubs and Stuff LLC

Community Involvement (tie): BlumShapiro and KBE Building Corp.

Workforce Practices (tie): Corporate Translations and Cronin and Company LLC

Innovation: Oxford Performance Materials Inc.

Best New Start-Up (tie): Bear's Smokehouse BBQ and Integrated Compliance Solutions Group LLC

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