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Best of 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, the Savannah Morning News, Business in Savannah and continue the tradition of profiling companies and organizations that made major contributions to the local business environment during the past year.

The Business in Savannah staff chose the honorees from a list of nominees submitted by local business and community members, utilizing broad criteria — from growth and success to philanthropy and community involvement.

Business Advocate of the Year: Harold Yellin

Chances are if you watched or attended a City Council, Historic Board, Zoning Board of Appeals or Metropolitan Planning Commission meeting this year, you probably saw attorney Harold Yellin going to bat for a host of heavy-hitter clients.

Small Business of the Year: Sara Jane Children's Boutique

When business owners talk about going mobile, they’re typically referring to phone apps — but for small-business owner Sara Jane Stroupe, she had a more literal goal in mind.

Retail Business of the Year: Unique concept has been worth its salt

Nearly seven years ago, Carol and Dave Legasse decided to go on a romantic getaway to Amelia Island to relax, recharge from their busy careers and just enjoy each other’s company.

Entrepreneurial Business of the Year: MusicFile Productions

Savannah’s music scene is no triathlete, but check its vital signs and you’ll observe a healthy beat of music festivals, local bands and one-off performances featuring musicians from all over the Southeast.

Manufacturer of the year: PolyCase on fast track to success

Until his retirement, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Paul Lemke worked mostly overseas, serving as a foreign area officer and liaison with the military leadership in his host countries. His primary mission was to train and equip each country’s security forces to combat narco-terrorism.

Newcomer of the year: Service Brewing living up to its name

Ask Kevin Ryan why he chose the name Service Brewing for his new Savannah craft brewery and the 1996 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point will tell you it is ripe with meaning.

CITY TALK: Entrepreneurs pushed boundaries in Savannah in 2014

As 2014 draws to a close and we reflect on the year, it’s worth noting that entrepreneurs are taking bigger risks than at any time since the recession.

Some of those entrepreneurs are bringing new business models to the Savannah market or are pushing existing boundaries in meaningful ways.