San Francisco’s tech sector received a lot of attention last month – and for good reason. The State of California announced the expansion of the city’s Innovation Hub (iHub) in Mission Bay to include the entire City and County of San Francisco. Mayor Ed Lee declared October “Innovation Month” to spotlight local tech companies. And leading technology firms, such as Square Inc., announced plans for expansion in our city.
San Francisco is fortunate to have its booming tech industry, which now boasts more than 1,850 firms. But a healthy economy also depends on a diverse economy that includes a wide range of industries and businesses employing workers of all backgrounds, professions and skill levels. As “Innovation Month” comes to a close, it is also important that we recognize the many other industries and businesses that contribute to San Francisco’s economic vitality.
The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce did just that at the Excellence in Business Awards last week. During our 21st annual awards gala, we honored eight leading businesses for their accomplishments and contributions to San Francisco. Even as the Giants took on the Detroit Tigers in Game Two of the World Series sweep, nearly 800 business leaders came to together celebrate this year’s honorees and rally for continued economic growth in our city.
This year’s award recipients exemplify the leadership and dedication of so many of our locally-based businesses. The evening’s highest honor – the United Airlines Excellence in Business Award – was bestowed upon leading asset manager BlackRock for its tremendous growth and success. We also recognized the Exploratorium for its soon-to-be opened waterfront campus and the Central Market Partnership for its role helping to revitalize the long-blighted Mid-Market area.
The Chamber honored fast-growing companies GoPago, Gumas Advertising and One Kings Lane for their business success. We gave the Bain & Company Change Leader Award to Josh Golomb, President and General Manager, DaVita Rx for his vision and business acumen. And we recognized employee-owned Recology for its continued commitment to our community and loyalty to local small businesses.
Economic success cannot be measured by a single sector or industry. The 2012 Ebbies winners – and many other businesses like them – are the collective engine fueling our economy and keeping our city strong. San Francisco’s private sector employs well over 400,000 people and generates more than $1.4 billion in revenues to support vital city services each year. In addition to fueling our economy, the city’s top corporate philanthropists give over $100 million to charities annually.
With “Innovation Month” and #OrangeOctober now behind us, the Chamber takes pause to congratulate this year’s Ebbies winners and salute San Francisco’s businesses for their commitment and contributions that are keeping us all GIANT.
Click here for a full list of 2012 Ebbies Award Winners and to visit the Ebbies Hall of Fame.