Clason Point Partners
Ocho Candy

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 2017, Companies were ranked by revenue growth over the five-year period between 2012 and 2016.

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 2017 were Staples, Chevron, FedEx, Kaiser Permanente, City of Oakland, Baltimore Development Corporation, Blackstone Entrepreneur’s Network, Urban League of Louisiana, World Business Chicago, Team JXN, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. This list was audited by the independent accounting firm Rucci, Bardaro, and Falzone, PC.

From an organic candy shop in Oakland, Calif. to a towing company based in Texas, there is a wide swath 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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SUPRA Office Solutions/EMSCO Scientific Enterprises

SUPRA is operated across two separate industries: the office products industry and the laboratory and research supply. It also works in the pharmaceutical industry by way of its acquisition of EMSCO. SUPRA was founded by four African-American males who had previous experience working in and aiding the vast growth of another office products company. SUPRA/EMSCO, is headquartered in Philadelphia, with a national customer base. Customers include small businesses, non-profits, schools, prestigious major universities, and Fortune 1000 customers over a cross section of industries. The four principals first credit God’s blessings for their growth and success. The company has contributed substantially over the years to a diversity of community causes. It is dedicated to national expansion and eventual international growth.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 3565.86%
2016 Revenues ($M) $20.22
HQ Location Philadelphia
Business Leader(s) Lin Thomas, Ken Carter, Derrick Suswell, and Ismail Shahid
Title Founders

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