GrowFL has named Elite Jets as a 2021 Company to Watch as the charter air service continues to experience unprecedented growth fueled by post-pandemic business and leisure travel.
Elite Jets, a Naples-based company founded in 2016, is among 50 fast-growing businesses being honored by GrowFL, which announced 2021 honorees on October 5 and will formally recognize winners during a Feb. 17 awards celebration.
“There are tens of thousands of successful, Florida-based businesses across the state, so it’s an exceptional honor to be declared a ‘Company to Watch,’” said Stephen Myers, executive vice president at Elite Jets. “Over the past five years, we have focused on safety while creating a premier travel experience. Naples and Southwest Florida have proven to be an ideal home for Elite Jets, and we’re excited about what the future holds for our company.”
The Edward Lowe Foundation developed GrowFL’s Companies to Watch program to honor second-stage businesses across Florida that are developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities and broadening new industries.
GrowFL defines second-stage companies as those having six to 150 full-time employees and annual revenues of US$750,000 to US$100 million. In addition to evaluating past growth and projected success, judges also evaluated companies’ special strengths and impact in their markets, communities and within the state, thus deeming them worth watching.
“This group of honorees represents 20 counties, 20 different industries and almost 50% of them are women, veteran or minority-owned,” said Lisa McIntosh, chair of the Companies to Watch program and founder of C-E-Optimal Advisors. “They have demonstrated notable growth and have the courage and tenacity it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Despite the challenges thrown their way and pivoting through a pandemic, these companies embody the unshakeable resiliency of Florida’s entrepreneurs.”
Despite the pandemic, the 50 honorees project continued growth in 2021, with a 62% revenue increase and 49% growth in employees compared to 2020. If their projections hold, these 50 companies will have generated $1.7 billion in revenue and added more than 1,500 employees over the last five years – a 263% increase in revenue and a 206% increase in jobs since 2017.
Elite Jets operates from a private terminal at Naples Airport. The company’s fleet includes four Embraer Phenom 300 jets, one Embraer Legacy 500 jet and a Bell 407 helicopter, and it also provides management services for a Hawker 850XP jet. Elite Jets serves affluent business and leisure passengers traveling to destinations across North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.