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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).

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The Closing Agent

Courtesy of The Closing Agent

For 26 years, The Closing Agent has been at the forefront of change in Orlando. As a provider of real estate title and escrow services, CEO Barry L. Miller, Esq. saw his customers change from excited homebuyers during the real estate boom to people filing for bankruptcy in the depths of recession. As economic growth has rebounded, The Closing Agent has again found itself leading a rejuvenation of the real estate market. The Closing Agent has had an active role in local development of the Thornton Park neighborhood and has focused on facilitating mixed-use developments that provide lodging, entertainment, and dining. In an industry where change is constant and inevitable, Miller seeks to provide exceptional support to his staff, with comprehensive benefits and the assurance that between a CEO and his team, “loyalty is a two-way street.” Despite the financial struggles of the Great Recession, for instance, Miller did not lay off a single employee, electing instead to forgo his own paycheck for a year.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 162%
2015 Revenues ($M) $3.82
HQ Location Orlando, FL
Business Leader(s) Barry Miller
Title President and CEO

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