Since the inaugural list in 1999, the Inner City 100 (IC 100) has seen a select group of dynamic businesses return year after year. These beacons of inner city business growth are commended this year -- their fifth year on the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) / Inc. Magazine Inner City 100 list -- as Hall of Fame recipients.
Belkin Corporation, Compton, CA
Growth rate: 285%; Revenue for 2001: $463 million
Belkin Components is one of the largest IC 100 companies. A manufacturer of computer peripherals and accessories to customers such as Staples, CEO Chet Pipkin boasts that in just 30 minutes Belkin can "pick, pack, and ship" orders containing thousands of parts to more than 500 locations. Belkin's proximity to the Los Angeles International Airport and to the Los Angeles Harbor Port of San Piedro (both 13 miles away) means it receives supplies earlier and can ship products more cheaply and with less lead time.
Envios R.D/ Pronto Envios, New York, NY
Growth rate: 208%; Revenue for 2001: $19 million
While working at a telephone company offering reduced rates for calls to Latin America, Envios, R.D./Pronto Envios CEO Rodger Zepka discovered a demand for a similar service: money transfer from urban areas in the United States to countries in Latin America. Zepka's 24 Envios locations make it easier for Spanish-speaking immigrants to stay connected to their countries of origin. Envios provides jobs for many Spanish-speaking Latin American immigrants and Zepka is considering opening cyber cafes that would provide Internet access to his Latino clients.
Interface Data Systems, Phoenix, AZ
Growth rate: 267%; Revenue for 2001: $37 million
Located in an Enterprise Zone, Interface Data Systems has received significant support from local and state government, says CEO Mahasen Samaravijaya. Samaravijaya's 251 employees, more than half of whom reside in the inner city, participate in specialized training programs developed with the local government's help. Designing and Manufacturing electronic-interface devices, Samaravijaya relies on a number of overseas partners to keep his business competitive. The company provides the phones for America's most famous home -- the White House.
Pac-Van Inc., Indianapolis, IN
Growth rate: 305%; Revenue for 2001: $37 million
Number one on the 1999 Inner City 100, Pac-Van continues to grow. Pac-Van, which rents and sells mobile offices, modular buildings, and storage units, has expanded from its headquarters in the inner city of Indianapolis to 17 locations in 13 states. According to CEO Brent Claymon, Pac-Van's inner-city location provides the company easy access to interstate highways and proximity to downtown Indianapolis. Their location also enables them to keep an eye on nearby competitors, says Claymon, who runs the company with his two brothers, Scott and Matthew.