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Sarasota Chamber of Commerce names Music Compound winner of its 2019 Small Business Award for Products and Services.

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, along with nearly 500 business and community leaders, celebrated local small businesses by awarding five category winners and one Top Honor Small Business of the Year at the 29th Annual Frank G. Berlin Sr. Small Business Awards, which was held on June 14.

Music Compound is the Small Business Award winner for 2019 Business of the Year in the Products and Services category.

“Music Compound’s goal is to transform dreams into reality,” says owner and founder Jenny Townsend, a fifth-generation alumnus of Sarasota’s Cardinal Mooney High School. “Family oriented and community driven, our team strives to provide the best music education, and to always give back. We would like to thank the local community for recognizing our efforts. This award is dedicated to them and – of course – to our staff and members.”

Music Compound (MC) is indeed a dream come true for Townsend, who developed the concept while attending USF Sarasota-Manatee in 2009. After years of for-profit and not-for-profit work, Townsend decided to pursue her MC dream in early 2015. She submitted a request for a Manasota Score mentor, who helped fine tune her business plan and budget to secure a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan. Townsend opened Music Compound on Jan. 4, 2016.

In November of 2017, she requested another Manasota Score mentor, and was teamed up with Dave Tompkins, who continues to meet weekly with Townsend to discuss how to be a better business leader/owner while balancing growth. Townsend also meets regularly with her mentor and friend Jaime Didomenico, who understands the importance of growing personally and professionally, while also taking risks and always taking care of people.

To date, Music Compound – which employs 30 people and maintains an active membership of 370 music lovers – has contributed nearly $45,000 to our community.

The other 2019 Small Business Awards winners are:

  • Top Honor – Small Business of the Year: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens;

  • Hospitality & Tourism Organization of the Year: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens;

  • Non-Profit Organization of the Year: Forty Carrots Family Center;

  • Professional Services Business of the Year: Cumberland Advisors; and

  • Retail Business of the Year: Unlimited Comfort Mattress Factory.

In its 29th year, the Frank G. Berlin Sr. Small Business Awards recognizes member businesses with locally owned and operated businesses in five categories. It’s named in honor of the late Frank G. Berlin Sr., whose legacy in the community and untiring support of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce epitomized the hopes and dreams of contemporary business entrepreneurs.

Winners and finalists of the 2019 Frank G. Berlin Sr. Small Business Awards, in addition to meeting certain criteria, had to complete a rigorous process that included an application and an interview with the judges panel in order to be considered for nomination.

The following were present to accept the Small Business Award on behalf of Music Compound:

Jenny Townsend, David Townsend, Dave Tompkins (mentor), Jaime Didomenico (mentor), Kaylee Betts (studio manager), Amanda Yoder (student and instructor), Astara Summers (instructor), Sonja Dickey (MC member), Jana Marie Gouwens (MC volunteer and event coordinator), and Kim Livengood (The Bazaar, home to MC’s downtown studio).