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2010 Winner | Small Dog Electronics

Since 1995, Small Dog Electronics has made a name for itself in the competitive electronic retail market.  Recognized by Apple as the most knowledgeable Apple retailer in the U.S., Small Dog is the only Apple Specialist and Authorized Apple reseller in Vermont.  Founded by Don and Hapy Mayer, the company started with the modest duo and grew over the last sixteen years to a crew of nearly sixty people and almost as many office dogs.  The growth and sustainability illustrated by Small Dog Electronics speaks to the high company standards outlined in their mission statement.  There is a primary focus on, and commitment to, people, planet and profit.  

The recent economic hardship took a toll on many Vermont retail stores, including the Apple retail company.  However, a strong business sense and a commitment to their employees, community and environment allowed Small Dog Electronics to not only survive the downturn, but to rise to the top.  Sales for the booming business stayed steady throughout uncertainty in 2008 and rebounded impressively in 2010, showing a growth of 24% over the last five fiscal years.  Perhaps one of the secrets to their success is their dedication to the customer.  The mission at Small Dog clearly expresses their intent to make each client a customer for life by creating long-lasting relationships based on superior customer service.  

This bustling Apple specialist's business has proven that financial growth and quality of life can go hand-in-hand in Vermont.  While rapid growth is ideal, Small Dog is careful not to jeopardize the core values of their mission: sustainability, profitability and responsibility.  Small Dog Electronics has increased its workforce by 35% since 2006, providing much needed jobs in Vermont.  They maintain an ongoing commitment to their employees by creating an inviting workplace that encourages life-long positions.  An open book policy invites employees to use their own creativity to expand their careers and the Small Dog business.  The principles of the company culture focus on human-canine friendly work spaces, livable wages and the wellness of both human and canine life.  The company offers employees an onsite fitness facility and an outdoor space for their four-legged friends to roam.

This pledge to supporting well-being and social responsibility is extended beyond the employees to the community.  Each employee is encouraged to volunteer their time to community organizations; in fact, they are required to take one paid day off to perform community service.  The company also matches up to $200 for charitable donations to specific charities ranging from Doctors Without Borders to the Puppy Mill Rescue and Vermont Foodbank.  

Given the nature of its business, Small Dog is sensitive to the amount of electronic waste produced on a daily basis.  The company is committed to recycling more than they sell, having a net positive effect on the environment.  Small Dog’s eWaste event accepts electronic equipment from the community and has collected over 500 tons of eWaste in the last four years.  

Small Dog Electronics is yet another Vermont company in a race against the big dogs like Apple Computer’s online store.  The company is able to keep and build their customer base because of Vermont’s commitment to stay local.

The core values of the company appeal to the Vermont spirit and focus on community and environment while balancing a profitable bottom line.  This company has risen to the top and easily stands among the top three businesses in Vermont.