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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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31.

Guardian Healthcare

When Jose and Zoraida de la Rosa began to explore the possibility of opening a health care business, they knew they wanted to make an impact on populations facing language or cultural barriers. Today, Guardian Healthcare operates in four Massachusetts cities that have high poverty and low healthcare access rates. Cultural competency is a hallmark of the company’s work. Guardian hires clinical staff who are fluent in at least two languages; this reduces the need for translators and raises the standard of care for non-English speaking patients. Despite the challenges and complexities presented by federal and state healthcare laws and regulations, Jose de la Rosa predicts that his company will continue to grow and thrive while improving the quality of care for underserved populations.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 375%
2015 Revenues ($M) $11.19
HQ Location Boston, MA
Business Leader(s) Jose de la Rosa
Title CEO

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