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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).

See our methodology and credits


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  3. 2015 Revenues ($M)
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Montbleau & Associates

Courtesy of Montbleau

Woodworking began as an artistic expression for Ron Montbleau, who learned the craft as an apprentice to a fine furniture-maker in Colorado in 1975. He quickly realized that his passion for woodworking had become his sole focus, and upon moving to the West Coast, he turned his love for design and fine craft into a full-time business. Montbleau’s core team has experienced remarkably little turnover, even with the company’s significant growth. Today Montbleau & Associates has more than 180 employees, with four offices in California and one reopening in Nevada. His clients include major corporations and institutions such as Apple, Google, Irvine Company, Sempre Energy, Host Hotels, and Stanford University. As the company’s project list continues to grow, Montbleau expects that the company will expand 30 to 50 percent in the next year.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 193%
2015 Revenues ($M) $23.45
HQ Location San Diego, CA
Business Leader(s) Ron Montbleau
Title President and CEO

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