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Top Entrepreneurs
Jax Daily Record Thursday, May 20, 202105:30 AM EST

From the Editor: Faced with difficult times, these owners keep inspiring

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The Jacksonville Daily Record and Jacksonville Record & Observer honor 10 area businesses today in our second annual Top Entrepreneurs issue.

Entrepreneurs are not overnight successes. Instead, they work hard every day for as many years as it takes. And then some.

Throw in a pandemic, and the pressure mounts.

The Jacksonville Daily Record and Jacksonville Record & Observer honor 10 area businesses today in our second annual Top Entrepreneurs issue. We selected the companies from among those nominated by readers early this year.

These owners range in age from 39 to 77, and two businesses are more than 40 years old.

They operate in diverse enterprises: retail, logistics, fitness, engineering, medical services, entertainment, clothing, construction and commercial real estate.

They share a resolve to survive, succeed and exceed.

Here’s how they do that: Relentlessly identifying and providing what their customers want; training, guiding and supporting employees; ongoing service; reading (several say they always have a book at hand); constant innovation; flexibility; close communication with customers and staff; good old hard work; and the fear of failure but embracing the lessons that it provides.

During 2020, several of the honorees had to shut down for weeks or longer, or otherwise cut back on customer and employee contact because of COVID-19. 

Some had to lay off staff and now face the challenge of hiring during a time when workers are harder to come by.

All of the owners adjusted to the changes caused by COVID.

As we did last year, we divided the winners into revenue categories of up to $2 million; $2 million to $15 million; and more than $15 million.

We also chose our second lifetime achiever: Edge City owner Gunnel Humphreys, who has kept the Five Points area – and the city – in personal style for more than four decades.

(Some of us remember discovering her store and its treasures when we moved to Jacksonville in 1978 as a young reporter.)

All of the honorees started their ventures with an idea, whether by identifying a need or promising to fill one differently.

We hope these profiles not only inspire you, but assure you that as an entrepreneur, even during a pandemic, you are not alone.

For the Top Entrepreneurs section, click here

 

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