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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.

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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. Five-Year Growth Rate (%)
  3. 2015 Revenues ($M)
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11.

The Revel Group

Courtesy of The Revel Group

In 2015, the Revel Group ran over 3,500 events, 85 percent of which were for larger corporate clients. They were able to do this successfully because they are “the only event-centric agency in the country,” utilizing four distinct divisions, which can be hired in tandem or individually. Each division works in concert to manage an event from start to finish. Whether it’s orchestrating several venues, planning, catering, production or design, team members are set up for success in a fun, creative, and fast-paced environment where everyone is encouraged to be an entrepreneur and leader.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 934%
2015 Revenues ($M) $24.48
HQ Location Chicago, IL
Business Leader(s) Britt Whitfield and Clint Paton
Title Co-Founder and CEO (Whitfield); COO (Paton)

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