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100 Fastest-Growing Inner City Businesses

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The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)founded by Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter in 1994, defines inner cities as core urban areas with higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median incomes than their surrounding metropolitan statistical areas. Every year, ICIC identifies, ranks, and spotlights the 100 fastest-growing businesses located in America’s inner cities. In 2016, Companies were ranked by revenue growth over the five-year period between 2011 and 2015.

ICIC relies on a national network of nominating partners, including city offices, economic development organizations, and small business development corporations, to find many of the businesses that appear on this list. Key partners in 2016 were Staples, Chevron, JumpStart, Kaiser Permanente, New York City Department of Small Business Services, and World Business Chicago. This list was audited by the independent accounting firm Rucci, Bardaro, and Falzone, PC.

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From a high-tech commercial fishing outlet in Boston to a socially responsible apparel company in Oakland, there’s great variety in the types of businesses thriving in America’s urban centers and creating jobs where they are needed most. Here are this year's 100 fastest-growing inner city companies, as ranked by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC).

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74.

Atomic Data

Courtesy of Atomic Data

In the crowded space of IT, Jim Wolford and his team at Atomic Data stand out through a commitment to top quality products and service. While many say that, the tremendous growth the business has seen in the past five years proves they are doing something right. As a company that started as a data center, Jim attributes their success to being “in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.” He and his co-founder, Larry Patterson, know that human capital drives their growth, and are committed to training employees and providing a work culture that those in the IT space desire. They are working to ensure the company stays competitive in this changing industry by building their book of service, most recently taking the strategic step to acquire a software application development company.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 163%
2015 Revenues ($M) $20.17
HQ Location Minneapolis, MN
Business Leader(s) Jim Wolford
Title CEO

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