2021 Top Workplaces: The best small businesses in New York City

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Employees at great businesses across New York City gave high marks to companies large and small in the 2021 Top Workplaces program, sponsored by Schneps Media and Energage

Here are the top 20 small businesses in the 2021 Top Workplaces program, as chosen by the survey participants.

1. German Kitchen Center

Award-winning kitchen cabinet supplier German Kitchen Center earns the highest ranking for small businesses. Founded in 2001, this privately-owned business prioritizes flexibility and personal relationships. On the company website, CEO Mayan Metzler states, “Our philosophy is that each client is a friend for life. And we want our friends to enjoy the kitchen of their dreams.” The European-inspired brand has approximately 80 employees in the United States, making it a smaller and more hands-on organization. German Kitchen Center headquarters is right here in New York City, along with its two flagship showrooms. In the New York area, there are four other kitchen showrooms. Visitors to the showrooms receive a free professional kitchen design consultation. Read more about this top workplace at their website: https://germankitchencenter.com/.

2. International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) 

The International WELL Building Institute is an organization dedicated to its global movement: to transform buildings and communities in ways that will help people thrive. With its innovative and well-researched system called the WELL Building Standard™, IWBI created a framework to advance health and well-being around the world. The organization was developed over 10 years, and eventually founded in 2014.  IWBI has a diverse group of approximately 75 employees, most of whom work out of IWBI headquarters in New York City. The Institute practices what it preaches in terms of people-based solutions. As stated on their website, “While we could tell you about the impassioned public health advocates, marathon runners, mindful chefs and meditation masters we have on our team – authenticity in this movement extends to something more: a way of being, and a way of communicating.” Check out the International WELL Building Institute’s website at wellcertified.com.

3. Rightway Healthcare

Rightway Healthcare’s team is made up of about 100 entrepreneurs, medical experts and industry pioneers across the country who have a shared goal of improving healthcare navigation and pharmacy solutions. Founded by Dr. Theodore Feldman and Jordan Feldman in 2017, the organization sets out to provide members with a supportive environment in order to get the best care at the lowest cost. Powerful technology and provided health guides are in place for Rightway members to optimize healthcare spending. Employees use the Rightway app to manage their healthcare using centralized health guides. All care teams in contact with the customers are led by clinical guides, MDs or RNs, that help the best possible decision to be made. As said on their website, rightwayhealth.com, “Rightway combines education, guidance, and advocacy to empower employees to make the right healthcare choices. This results in better outcomes for them and significant cost reductions for their employers.” 

4. B6 Real Estate Advisors

At B6 Real Estate Advisors, real estate is more than a business. It’s considered an art and a science, too. The privately-owned business’s commitment to its craft paves the way for their team to be collaborative with their clients and with each other. “Diversity and Inclusion is at the core of who we are as a company,” said a spokesperson for the company. “By connecting talented individuals from all backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, the best ideas flourish and create smarter and more innovative teams.” The brand promises superior execution in representing their owners, as well as in dominating the market. Read more at their website, b6realestateadvisors.com.

5. Acelero Learning

Acelero Learning was founded in 2001 with the vision of building a better future for children, families and communities. Now with about 1,500 employees across the country, Acelero currently serves more than 5,000 children and families in their Head Start centers in four states. While providing opportunities for children with their education staff, Acelero’s team also works to invest in family services and provides a health and nutrition staff as well.  The company even encourages growth in their own employees, offering tuition reimbursement programs and employee wellness programs. “Educators at Acelero Learning change the lives of children every day,” it says on their website, careers.acelero.net. “None of them do it on an island. Our education team works together to support and strengthen one another as we aspire to continuously improve the services we provide to children.”

6. Direct Agents

Direct Agents digital marketing agency is celebrating its eighteenth year as a purposefully independent and minority-led business where diversity of thought and innovation remain at the forefront. According to their website, directagents.com, the company’s mission is “driven by a culture rich in diversity, passion, and education, and empowered to make an impact across the social justice movements of our time.” The organization is committed to provide a livelihood for their employees that balances work and life in an environment where they can constantly build, learn and grow. The business’s culture includes shining a spotlight on their women employees that make up 51% of the team. Direct Agents provides opportunities for mentorship, fitness programs and a hybrid work-life for its employees. The New York office is even dog friendly. 

7. Digital Remedy

Advertising and marketing technology company Digital Remedy exemplifies the “work hard, play hard” attitude. The organization was founded in 2001 and has since then been rooted in media buying excellence in hand with unparalleled client service. The workplace values include an uncommon ability to achieve, remarkable balance, simple accountability, curiosity that pushes through boundaries and cultivation of a caring community. “Every employee at Digital Remedy will tell you that the atmosphere and camaraderie in the offices is a huge factor in our continued success,” it says on their website, digitalremedy.com. “We consistently work to ensure that the people we’re hiring are smart and inquisitive workers, and that zeal for finding quality employees has paid off multiple times over.” 

8. Universal Processing

Universal Processing was founded in 2003 with a mission to support and serve the payment processing needs of their business partners, as well as aid these partners in growth by providing quality service and expertise. Over the years, Universal Processing has developed company traditions, including organized events, in order to pursue their principles and grow strong bonds. In the past year, the company put on an event called “UP Loves Doctors,” where they personally delivered PPE to healthcare providers in New York City. As an Asian-American owned business, Universal Processing has made its mark on the community as an organization that gives back. Visit UP’s website at uprocessing.com 

9. Mitchell Martin

Social worker Eugene Holtzman started Mitchell Martin staffing company in 1984. With about 250 internal employees, the organization has offices throughout the U.S. as well as in India and the Philippines. The business now stands at about 1,000 placements per year, but those numbers aren’t the priority for this top workplace. “It’s not just about filling job openings,” according to mitchellmartin.com. “It’s about enabling growth and inspiring success. That’s what we do.” Mitchell Martin employees are provided with health benefits, as well as a health advocate. Employees can enjoy discount programs and flex spending accounts, while utilizing commuter benefits and a 401k plan. With the right team, Mitchell Martin is dedicated to working smarter, not harder.

10. CBIZ

As one of the nation’s top providers of accounting, tax and advisory services, CBIZ has 100 offices and 4,800 associates in total throughout the U.S., serving organizations of all sizes, as well as individual clients. The organization supports the local community through the CBIZ Cares program, which includes paid time off for team members to volunteer with co-workers throughout the community. CBIZ Cares Committees sponsor activities such as blood drives and fundraisers to raise money for local charities. In 12 years, the organization has collected 9.9 million pounds of food in 12 years for local pantries. “Saying that our people matter is one thing, but connecting that value to these specific action items provides our team members with a framework to act upon them and prioritize their overall wellbeing,” said a CBIZ spokesperson. “Because of that, we constantly strive to reinforce these action items with professional learning and development, the prioritization of diversity and inclusion efforts, employee recognition in various forms, community involvement, social activities, and personal and professional life balance.”

11. Dental365

Dental365 is the only multi-group practice in New York that is open every day, in order to accommodate its busy clientele. The business operates numerous dental offices throughout the New York metropolitan area and Connecticut, with approximately 600 employees throughout the U.S. The organization stands out from other DSOs as an employer because it is owned, financed and operated entirely by dentists. For its employees, Dental365 offers opportunities for continued education through Dental365 University as well as a comprehensive benefits package. “Our culture of success is patient-focused and we pride ourselves on the fact that while our organization has grown, we continue to pursue others who believe in our mission statement to provide affordable, convenient and accessible dental care to all who seek it,” says the company’s website, godental365.com.

12. Panda Restaurant Group

Family-owned Panda Restaurant Group was built on a foundation of diversity, equity and inclusion. As the parent company of Panda Express, Panda Inn and Hibachi-San, the organization has about 2,200 locations worldwide and employs over 40,000 employees. The philanthropic arm of the business, Panda Cares, has raised over $107 million to support children in local communities and fund worldwide disaster relief. The organization believes in the “Whole Person” approach when it comes to how they treat their employees. Panda’s benefits package includes an annual learning fund and scholarship for eligible associates, competitive hourly base rate, employee perks and more. The company also hosts a Leave Share Program where associates can donate vacation hours into a pool to support fellow associates who are experiencing a loss of income due to health conditions, natural disasters, and other hardships. As said on the company website, “Whether through sharing good food with guests or providing opportunities for professional and personal growth with associates, all are embraced in a genuine family environment that is uniquely Panda.”

13. Reidy Contracting Group

At Reidy Contracting Group, the key to a successful project is a solid foundation as an integral partner to its clients. Since 2010, the Group has worked on project types including renovation, new construction, construction infrastructure and existing refurbishments. With its diverse and inclusive workforce, the organization is committed to making a difference in the local community through social responsibility and civic engagement. Part of that change is in their own workplace culture. “Our professionals are tight-knit and collaborative–and not just on the job,” said a company representative. “Whether it’s a fun company outing or a dinner with the team, the Reidy family takes joy in each other’s company and pride in each other’s work. That enthusiasm comes across for our clients and their communities in the spaces we create.” Visit RCG’s website at reidygroup.com.

14. Kettle Solutions LLC

With office locations in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, digital-native creative Kettle Solutions LLC has about 65 employees in total across the country. This team values their employees as skilled people with experiences regarding problem-solving, technology and storytelling. “We celebrate those who work here by supporting each other’s goals,” says the company’s website, wearekettle.com. “Want to learn a new skill? Pursue a passion? Surround yourself amongst the boldest in design and technology? We encourage it all from within the comfort of our gorgeous open workspace.” The company offers many lucrative perks: access to a gorgeous office with free snacks, seltzer and beer, generous vacation policy and a five-year company anniversary gift of round-trip airfare to any destination. As a member of PledgePL, the company also offers three months paid parental leave.

15. Cozen O’Connor

Full-service law firm Cozen O’Connor has over 775 attorneys that work collaboratively and seamlessly across disciplines throughout the company’s 30 offices in order to achieve their clients’ business objectives. Founded in 1970, this firm is a top workplace because of its dedication to its employees. In measures like creating their Women’s Initiative, their Pro Bono Program, as well as their continued community service through its Charitable Foundation, Cozen O’Connor shows its intentionality and commitment to the people that make up the firm. The successful business is ranked #1 in the Nation in the American Lawyer Midlevel Associates Satisfaction Survey. For more information on Cozen O’Connor, visit their website at cozen.com.

16. Fhitting Room

Fhitting Room owns and operates three NYC-based boutique fitness studios specializing in functional high intensity training and strength classes. With almost a decade of operating experience, Fhitting Room is a boutique brand with big box gym knowledge and experience. The brand aims to help people realize their strongest self by delivering heart, health and happiness through personalized, functional, group training. The healthy workplace culture is evidenced by the fact that three out of the four original founding fitness professionals are still with Fhitting Room today. The company gives to its community by supporting organizations such as The Harlem Academy, El Centro Hispano, Color of Change and Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.  “At Fhitting Room, we address Diversity and Inclusion with the depth and significance it deserves,” said a brand representative. “We know we’re not perfect, but we strive for progress and growth.”

17. Robert Half

With approximately 17,000 global employees, staffing agency Robert Half understands the importance of employee happiness. As said on the company website, roberthalf.com, “Higher levels of employee engagement lead to greater productivity. And workers who feel valued are motivated to make real, tangible contributions to the company.” Robert Half has kept this beneficial outlook since the company’s birth in 1948. The organization remains committed to supporting universal human rights, respecting diversity, forming a philanthropic foundation and protecting the environment in the communities they serve. “Our employees strive to create relationships with each other, our candidates and clients, external organizations, and members of the local community to learn about the backgrounds of those we serve and support,” it says on the website. “This helps to create a dynamic and inclusive environment at Robert Half, where people feel welcome, are comfortable being themselves at work and embrace what makes each person unique.”

18. Robinson+Cole

Robinson+Cole was founded in 1845 and has since created a culture of community involvement, pro bono service, celebration of diversity and dedication to client service. To get a picture of the bigger picture, the firm is constantly innovating and looking toward the future. Robinson+Cole is dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion, and even has a Diversity Action Plan. The plan is an approach to the recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse lawyers in the company. There is also a firm wide effort to promote the success of women lawyers, called Robinson+Cole’s Women’s Initiative. The R+C workplace culture is one of collaboration, civility and inclusion, sophisticated work, extensive training and work-life balance. Employees are provided with opportunities of mentoring and career guidance, workplace integration, professional development and training, as well as feedback and evaluations. More information on Robinson+Cole is available on their website, rc.com. 

19. Madison Logic

Madison Logic specializes in business-to-business account based marketing. With offices in four countries across three continents, the company has proven its skills with a global clientele. However, since 2005, it has also proven itself as a top workplace for its employees and partners. In their team members, Madison Logic values and expects teamwork, accountability, respect, innovation and empowerment. Aside from their comprehensive benefits packages, the organization also offers additional perks like generous referral bonuses, volunteer opportunities, casual dress in the office and happy hours. As noted on their website, madisonlogic.com, “Our team is reshaping B2B marketing and having fun in the process! Work with & learn from an incredible group of people that care about your success as much as they care about their own.” The platform also provides professional development opportunities for its employees such as job training, a global mobility program and education reimbursement.   

20. Kids in the Game

Since 2003, Kids in the Game has provided school programs and summer camps for NYC’s youth. Through its mission to provide positive experiences and opportunities through sports and creative play, the company is committed to making a lasting impact in the lives of both the children and adults involved. “We’re building a culture where what makes us different is also what makes us stronger,” said a company representative. “Our team members come from across the country and from all cultural, socio-economic, and professional backgrounds. We work closely with social impact and non-profit organizations to recruit chronically discriminated against or low-income groups, and improve their access to high-quality employment.” Involvement with this organization isn’t limited to paid positions as volunteers are always welcome in the programs. For more information on the sports-based youth development program, visit their website at kidsinthegame.com.