PORTLAND — Three Portland-based businesses were honored tonight for their roles in helping to stimulate Portland’s economy.

Nicole Clegg, the city’s spokeswoman, said about 200 people attended the Portland Development Corporation’s 16th annual business awards ceremony, which was held at the Ocean Gateway International Marine Terminal off Commercial Street.

Recognized were the Greater Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau, the VIA Agency, and Planet Dog.

Barbara Whitten, the Bureau’s Executive Director, accepted the 2011 Economic Development Achievement Award in recognition of its 4th annual Harvest on the Harbor event.

The event brought more than 5,000 people to the city’s downtown over a period of three days. Coastal Living Magazine called the event one of the top 10 seafood and wine festivals in North America.

John Coleman, President and founder of The VIA Agency, accepted the 2011 Business of the Year award.

VIA, which is located in the former Baxter Library on Congress Street, is currently ranked as one of the top 100 advertising agencies in the United States.

VIA was recently named Ad Age Magazine’s small agency of the year – a distinction that was particularly notable because hundreds of agencies from 22 countries were considered. Among VIA’s clients are Samsung, Disney, and HBO. 

Planet Dog received the 2011 Small Business of the Year award. Planet Dog, which was founded in 1997, was cited for its support of local initiatives and donations to a wide variety of causes.

The Planet Dog Foundation in 2007 gave more than $200,000 in cash and product donations to non-profit canine service programs across the country.