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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.


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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  3. 2015 Revenues ($M)
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Bank Associates Merchant Services (BAMS)

Courtesy of BAMS

After years of working in the credit card processing industry and analyzing the opportunities for improvement in that space, Dimitri Akhrin founded Bank Associates Merchant Services (BAMS), a payments processing company that provides businesses with affordable electronic payment solutions. Today, BAMS works with major clients, particularly restaurants, hotels, and e-commerce providers, across the country. Akhrin says that the company’s emphasis on transparency and cutting edge technology has been paramount to the company’s success. In addition, being headquartered in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, has benefited the company’s growth, providing central access to its clients and attracting employees, many of whom have moved to the neighborhood to be closer to the office. Akhrin is highly optimistic about the future of this rapidly-changing industry and about the growth of his company.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 134%
2015 Revenues ($M) $3.95
HQ Location Brooklyn, NY
Business Leader(s) Dimitri Akhrin
Title President

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