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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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81.

Raining Rose

Courtesy of Raining Rose Inc

Raining Rose—started as a family business in 1996—manufactures lip balm and other natural body care products in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. CEO Chuck Hammond and his partner Art Christoffersen bought the company in 2003, expanding the product line and ensuring that each product was made with the highest quality ingredients. Kindness and social responsibility are hallmarks of this fast-growing company and are reflected in its recent achievement of becoming a Certified B Corporation® in March 2016. Raining Rose is also a designated Blue Zones Worksite™ and certified to make USDA organic products in its LEED-certified facility.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 153%
2015 Revenues ($M) $38.03
HQ Location Cedar Rapids, IA
Business Leader(s) Chuck Hammond
Title President

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