NAPLES, Fla. -

 

It's been tough for businesses struggling through the recession, but three Naples companies have plenty to celebrate.

They've been honored, among 50 companies statewide in G

 

 

rowFL's inaugural class of Florida "Companies to Watch." They shared with us how they beat the odds, and continue to thrive, grow and hire, amid a tough recession.

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here were times when Jay and I felt this was not going to happen, that the statistic on us would be one more business that failed," Susan Weiss, founder of Ark Naturals Products for Pets called. She said it was guts that pushed her through the tough times.

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ow, her 15 year-old business, ships products like brushless toothpaste and joint supplements throughout the world.

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he pet industry has been recession-proof in essence," Weiss said. "We see ourselves as an extension of taking care of your pet and a way of promoting good health."

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edia Vista Group is Southwest Florida's leading Hispanic media company. Starting in 2001, it now features a 24/7 TV station, magazine, and D'latinos.tv online with a goal of keeping a once under-served community informed. "We are also putting our seed in the economy, in the growth of the state of Florida, and we are very happy to live the American dream," founder Mayela Rosales said.

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espite a drop in business during the recession, Haynes Corporation is now up 51% over last year. The once 4-person family business now manufactures fuel injection systems for Caterpillar Engine and G.E. Locomotives, with plenty of room to grow.