Twelve Tarrant County businesses have been named finalists for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s annual Small Business of the Year Awards.The finalists, by category: Emerging Businesses (in business less than three years): Kwik Kar Ridgmar, an auto maintenance and repair facility; Shoot Smart, upscale indoor shooting ranges and training centers; and Synergy HomeCare DFW, personalized nonmedical home care services. One to 10 employees: Four Day Weekend, an improvisational comedy theater, corporate communications and training center; J.O., a marketing and public relations agency with a nonprofit arm; and Path to Wellness Chiropractic, a full-service chiropractic clinic. 11 to 50 employees: Care N’ Care Insurance Co., a Medicare Advantage PPO plan for seniors; DOCUmation of North Texas, a business technology integration company; and the Starr Conspiracy, a marketing and advertising agency for enterprise software and service companies. 51 to 150 employees: CE-DFW Warehouse Solutions, a warehouse equipment service and repair company; InterConnect Wiring, an aerospace products manufacturing and military aircraft rewiring firm; and Perrone Pharmacy, an independent retail pharmacy and compounding services company.The business owners and representatives will be honored at a Chamber Business After Hours event Jan. 23. The awards will be presented at a reception before Mayor Betsy Price’s State of the City address Feb. 13.Finalists were chosen from a record-setting field of 95 nominees and 40 applicants. They are judged on business growth and performance, sound business strategies and practices, customer service strategies, business challenges, unique and innovative approaches, and community involvement. Encore Vision landsangel investmentCowtown Angels, a program that connects local “angel investors” with companies in the area that need startup capital, has made its largest investment, $750,000, to Encore Vision in Fort Worth.Encore Vision, founded in 2000, is an ophthalmic therapeutic company formed to develop a treatment for presbyopia, which requires individuals to wear reading glasses. The company is developing Dioptin, a patented prescription eye-drop treatment.It’s estimated that 1.8 million people worldwide require reading glasses. The Dioptin treatment is designed to give people with presbyopia freedom from their bifocals or reading glasses. The company said it will use the funds for further development of its product and completion of Phase 2 clinical trials. The 23-member Cowtown Angels group has invested more than $2 million is six companies since it began 16 months ago.Encore Vision is client of Tech Fort Worth, a nonprofit technology incubator. Its mission is to grow the local technology-based economy. Cowtown Angels is a program of Tech Fort Worth.TTI signs deal withFinnish customerFort Worth-based TTI, a global electronics components distributor, has signed a distribution agreement with the PKC Group in Helsinki, Finland, to become the first authorized distributor of that company’s products.The PKC Group primarily makes electronics and related components for the commercial vehicle industry. The company has factories in Brazil, China, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Russia and the U.S.“The addition of TTI will enhance PKC’s distribution network in North America as well as globally,” Ajene Wallace, customer executive of PKC North America Components, said in a statement.TTI is owned by Berkshire Hathaway.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552 Twitter: @jimfuquay Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718 Twitter: @bshlachter