The 2010 Top 100 drew 2,000 guests

A week from tomorrow, I’ll be attending my favorite event of the year. It’s the Rochester Top 100, a gala celebration that recognizes Greater Rochester’s fastest growing, privately held, locally based businesses.

This year, we’ll mark the 25th anniversary of the Top 100, which the Rochester Business Alliance puts on in partnership with the local office of the accounting firm KPMG LLP. What I love about this event, the area’s biggest business gathering of the year, is that it gives us a chance to celebrate as a community the considerable accomplishments of our homegrown enterprises. We’re expecting more than 1,500 guests for this year’s gala.

To be eligible for the Top 100, companies must be locally based, privately held and have at least $1 million in revenues for each of their last three fiscal years.

I’m proud to say that despite some very difficult economic times, we had a tremendous turnout of applications for the list.
I can’t tell you who is on it, but the list will be released Friday by our print media partner at, which is also creating a special section highlighting the businesses for Sunday’s newspaper. And we’l have it on our website Friday as well.

But I can tell you that the companies are a strong representation of the Rochester area economy – growing businesses in technology, manufacturing, construction, financial services, retail, service industries and wholesale distributors.

And most of them are small businesses. Eighty-one of the 100 companies employ fewer than 250 people and nearly half employ fewer than 50. Some of the companies Rochester legends, tracing their start-ups back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. But 30 of the companies were launched within the last 10 years.

In all, it’s an impressive list, a real testament to our region’s entrepreneurial spirit and economic resiliency, and something which all Upstate can take pride in.