Cobb Chamber of Commerce

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Date ArticleType
6/4/2018 SBOY
The Service Fort Named the 2018 Small Business of the Year

The Cobb Chamber of Commerce named The Service Fort as the 2018 Small Business of the Year at the Chamber’s First Monday Breakfast, presented by Servis1st Bank.

The Service Fort is a family owned and operated company providing environmentally friendly janitorial and maintenance services. Over 14 years, Jeremy Fort has built a family of dedicated professionals who find pride in an industry where the hours are long and the customers are slow to show their appreciation. The mission at The Service Fort is to help clients get out of the janitorial business so that they have time to do what they do best.

One way The Service Fort outshines its competition is through its partnerships with local vendors, such as Georgia Pacific, GoJo Foam Soap and General Paper. These partnerships bring high quality products at low prices and in an expeditious manner when clients experience emergency cleaning needs. Strategic partnerships have contributed to The Service Fort’s 95% client retention rate. In 2017, The Service Fort partnered with First Step Staffing, a company that employs homeless, transitioning veterans and individuals with a troubled past. These hires from First Step Staffing make up the majority of The Service Fort’s janitorial staff. These partnerships were an integral part of the janitorial proposal for SunTrust Park and helped secure a multi-year contract with the stadium.

As the Chamber’s 2018 Small Business of the Year, The Service Fort will compete in the state’s small business of the year competition.

Competitive Application and Selection Process
To be considered for the Top 25 Small Businesses of Year, each hopeful submits an application to the Cobb Chamber. The applicants must prove an increase in sales or unit volume, provide examples of innovation, discuss adversity and challenges, and thoroughly detail their community involvement. Applications are analyzed and considered by a group of independent community business leaders and affiliates of the Small Business Administration.

After all of the submitted applications are judged and rated, five finalists are selected based on their numerical score. The five finalists are then put through a second step in the application process – a 30-minute site visit by the judges. The visit is meant as a fresh, in-person opportunity to present to the panel of judges the ideals, practices, values and day-to-day operations discussed in the initial application.

2018 Top 25 Small Businesses of the Year
Throughout June, the Cobb Chamber will celebrate each of the Top 25 Small Businesses of the Year on its blog, Chamber Ink at https://cobbchambermembernews.wordpress.com/. Each day a new post will share more information about each winner’s impact in the community. The Cobb Chamber honored the following Top 25 Small Businesses at the June First Monday Breakfast:

  • Assured Comfort Heating, Air and Plumbing
  • Atlanta Air Charter, Inc.
  • Corporate Environmental Risk Management
  • Deluxe Athletics
  • Dry County Brewing Company
  • DynamiX
  • Fulfillment Strategies International
  • Georgia Trade School
  • Henry’s Louisiana Grill
  • IAG Forensics and Valuation
  • InPrime Legal
  • Long Engineering, Inc. 
  • The Marietta Local
  • Marietta Wrecker Service
  • Mills Specialty Metals, LLC
  • North Georgia Staffing
  • One Ring Networks
  • Otter’s Chicken
  • RE/MAX PURE
  • The Service Fort, LLC
  • Southeastern Engineering, Inc.
  • Three-13 Salon, Spa & Boutique
  • Vibe Kayaks, LLC
  • Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q
  • Win-Tech, Inc.


Small Business Hall of Fame

2017 Small Business of the Year, Blue Sky Exhibits, was also honored at the June First Monday Breakfast. The reigning small business of the year was inducted into the Small Business Hall of Fame, which includes all county and state winners of the Small Business of the Year award from Cobb County since 1982. The full list of Small Business Hall of Fame honorees can be found at www.cobbchamber.org/sboy.

2018 Businesses to Watch
 In order to recognize the impressive accomplishments of many new Cobb businesses, the Cobb Chamber expanded its Small Business of the Year program to include the Businesses To Watch awards presentation. These are businesses that have launched less than three years ago and have already achieved substantial growth. The 2018 Businesses To Watch are:

  • Four Hats Inc.
  • Peachtree Hearing
  • Relocal Move

The Presenting Sponsor of the 2018 Small Businesses of the Year awards is Servis1st Bank. The Business To Watch sponsor is TRC Staffing Services. The Awards Sponsor is Wells Fargo. The Hall of Fame Sponsor is the UGA Small Business Development Center at Kennesaw State University. The Gold sponsor is Henssler Financial. Silver sponsors are Corporate Environmental Risk Management, Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC and Gaskins Surveying & Engineering Company, Inc.