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100 Fastest-Growing Inner City Businesses

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Methodology

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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2.

Lamps.com

Courtesy of Lamps.com

Lamps.com stems from good market sense and a great URL. Company founder Chris DiMarco left Wall Street to maximize on a gap he saw in the online presence of lighting sales. Driven by the recent purchase of the “Lamps.com” URL and an entrepreneurial spirit, Chris and a team of investors (including Chris’ longtime friend, current CEO Anthony Balsamo) created an impressive business in just five short years, achieving the title of fastest growing Philadelphia business in 2015. Chris and Anthony see Lamps.com as a haven for the “NEO” lighting shopper, and they attribute a large amount of their success to the experience they create for the client. This experience is enhanced by their team of experts, who help embody the company’s core values. This talent is drawn to both the convenient inner city location (90% of employees live nearby) and the innovative model of Lamps.com.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 3266%
2015 Revenues ($M) $4.49
HQ Location Philadelphia, PA
Business Leader(s) Chris DiMarco and Anthony Balsamo
Title Founder (DiMarco); CEO (Balsamo)

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