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Top 500: A unique treasure trove of information

The Business Observer's 2018 Top 500 ranks the top 500 companies from Tampa/Lakeland to Naples by revenue.

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 9:45 a.m. July 16, 2018
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
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The number 500, at the highest level of auto racing, is a digit with a lot of power: that’s how many laps it takes to win many of the sport’s most significant races.

At the Business Observer, 500 also has a lot of power. It’s the amount of companies, ranked in order of revenue, in this 76-page book, the Top 500. The weight of this issue stems from the quality — and quantity — of valuable information. Want to see all the companies in our nine-county region that did more than $1 billion in sales last year? It’s in here. Curious about the new No. 1 company in the region, that overtook Publix? That’s in it. Looking to research the biggest contractors by sales? It’s in this book.

Each individual listing in the Top 500 is a wealth of valuable information on its own. That includes a company’s revenues for 2016 and 2017; the name of the top executive; total employees; website and corporate address; and date founded.  

After the individual listing comes a section of easy-to-follow lists, including rankings by industry, alphabetical and largest employers. This book also has six stories of companies on the list, where the company’s top executives detail their strategy for success.

In short, the Top 500 is a one-of-a-kind publication statewide. (For more than a decade, this issue was called the Gulf Coast 500, related to the former name of the Business Observer. This is the first year we changed it to Top 500.)

Revenues in the Top 500, in general, are self-reported. We ask for gross revenues, and don’t include pass-through revenues, such as real estate sales volume or clients of professional employer organizations. The list — more power — is available digitally in Excel spreadsheets. Go to  

We hope you enjoy all the Top 500 has to offer — a book that took six months and contributions from at least 10 people to put together. And get ready for next year: we will be reaching out to companies in the spring to being compiling the 2019 Top 500.    

Read the stories behind six companies included in our Business Observer 2018 Top 500: 

The largest company in the region's big goal: Stay No. 1 — Tech Data

Firm dominates markets by focusing on accountability — not budgets — Roper Technologies

Construction firm doubles sales, remains 'crazy busy' — J2 Solutions

Ad agency thrives on innovate or die strategy — Schifino Lee

Software firm finds success in a super-early entry to a hot market — Market Technologies

Dermatologist starts from scratch to build four-clinic practice — Florida Skin Center


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