Late last year the Rochester Business Alliance approached us with this query: Would you like to become a partner in the Rochester Top 100? This was not a difficult question.
Absolutely, we replied.
For more than a quarter-century, the annual Rochester Top 100 has shone a bright light on one of the most important segments of the local economy: privately held companies. The ranking is based on top-line growth (both dollar and percentage increases) over the last three fiscal years, with a minimum of $1 million in annual sales required.
The Top 100 is not the only annual recognition of business success locally. Our newspaper has developed a number of these award programs and also has partnered with other organizations-among them two RBA affiliates, the Small Business Council (which selects the Business Person of the Year) and the Women's Council (which presents the Athena Award). We also produce an annual supplement, the RBJ 75, that examines the top 25 businesses in the public-company, private-company and non-profit sectors.
But in part because it spotlights so many companies each year, the Rochester Top 100 stands apart. It is a unique celebration of local business vitality. We are pleased now to have a direct role in this program.
This year will mark the 27th time the RBA and KPMG LLP have presented the Rochester Top 100. The deadline for nominations is July 12, and the annual celebration luncheon is slated for Nov. 6 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
The Friday before the luncheon, we will publish a special supplement devoted to the Rochester Top 100. I can't tell you all this publication will contain-we're still in the planning stages-but I can promise this: It will be a glossy, full-color supplement both visually compelling and rich in details about the Rochester Top 100.
Our partnership with the RBA and KPMG is not limited to this supplement. Starting with today's issue, RBJ will publish a weekly article on one of the Rochester Top 100 companies. To do justice to these firms, we have turned over prime space-page 2-to this feature. Now through the end of October, we will write about companies that appeared on the 2012 list; when the new list appears, we will shift to those firms. Throughout the year, we will strive to show the diversity of the Rochester Top 100 by covering businesses of all sizes in a variety of industries.
With the addition of the Top 100 page have come some changes in the layout and content of the weekly RBJ. The Loop, a popular feature penned by Managing Editor Mike Dickinson, has moved opposite the Opinion page. It joins the Snap Poll, which now has more space-a full three columns, allowing us to publish even more comments by poll respondents.
The RBJdaily feature, which collects some of the more interesting stories we post online each week, now resides on the page immediately preceding this one. With an entire page now devoted to RBJdaily, we can give it better treatment and also broaden the scope to include items from the RBJ Morning Roundup e-newsletter, which rivals the afternoon Daily Report in readership. Reading this page is not a replacement for receiving our daily e-newsletters and visiting our website, RBJdaily.com, on a regular basis.
I should also note that our decision to become a partner in the Rochester Top 100 does not mean we plan to shelve the RBJ 75. As mentioned earlier, the RBJ 75 spans a broader range of businesses. It also uses a different ranking criterion: local employment. (The very first Top 100 list, back in 1987, was based on jobs, not revenue growth.) The 2013 RBJ 75 will be published July 26.
Here's one thing the Top 100 and the RBJ 75 have in common: Neither one is a guarantee of longevity for companies that appear on the list. Remember Leon's/Computer Store, which took top honors in the 1988 Top 100, the first one based on revenue growth? I didn't think so.
But that's not really the point. These lists focus on the businesses that are providing jobs and driving growth in Rochester now. Yet viewed over many years, a ranking like the Rochester Top 100 can identify remarkable achievement that has stood the test of time. Who do you think was No. 1 on that initial Top 100? Wegmans, naturally.
Do you think your firm might be Top 100-caliber this year? There's one way to find out: Go to rochesterbusinessalliance.com and fill out the nomination form.
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