There was a time, maybe you remem­ber it, when all a business had to do to make an impact was put more black than red in the ledger. Hell, every year for 40 years, Inc. has recognized businesses with sky­rocketing revenue by including them in the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America.

Making the 5000 list remains a preemi­nent achievement. But more than hitting sales targets, having an impact in 2020 has meant being bold. Putting purpose before profit. Leaving your collabo­rators, clients, customers, employees, and surroundings better off than when you found them.

This year, the editors of Inc. are recognizing this impact--recognizing you--by launching our Best in Business Awards featuring the Company of the Year. In its inaugural outing, this program attracted 2,700 entries across 37 categories. The cream of these entries countered so much uncertainty this year by asking more of themselves: What else can we do? Whom else can we help? How else can we change the world? For some, the answer was baked into the business itself, as it was for our Company of the Year, Puritan Medical Products--a one-hundred-year-old, small-town family business that rose to the challenge of pro­viding nasopharyngeal swabs for the world's Covid tests. For others, the answer was in an on­going commitment to philanthropy or sustainability or equitability. For others still, it was a pivot to crisis response, like converting production to sanitizers and PPE. And for many, it was excellence in the realms of daily life that persist in all times. Inc. has been honored to witness the impact your teams have made in 2020. All year, you've inspired us. We hope our Best in Business Awards make an impact of their own as they shine a light, in the stories and list, on you: the change makers, the legacy builders, the pathfinders, and--not to exaggerate the point--the heroes.

It's the least we can do to thank you, the best people running the best businesses. May 2021 be your most impactful year yet.

More Best in Business

Best in Business 2020: See the Full List

Meet Inc.'s Best in Business: Honoring the Companies Making a Positive Difference in an Extraordinary Year
Inc.'s Company of the Year: This Century-Old Family Company Became the Most Important Manufacturer in the World in 2020
How a Kinder, More Sustainable Hen-Laying Ecosystem Became a Billion-Dollar Business
This Founder Is Helping Essential Workers and Black Business Owners--and Making Inspired Whiskey
When Schools Went Virtual, This Education Company Refocused on Its Mission--and Tripled Its Revenue   
She Built a Business With $30 Million in Revenue--and a Mission to Root Out Racism in the Construction Industry
Meet Four Unsung Heroes of the Pandemic. They Might Just Inspire You
Five of the Most Meaningful Business Moments of 2020