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The Inner City 100

100 street-smart companies.
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21. Roxbury Technology

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 916%
Revenue for 2003 5.2 million
Full-time employees in 2003 21

Boston

Beth Williams never thought she'd have to lead the company her father started. Click here to read the full profile.

22. Optimum Management Systems

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 910%
Revenue for 2003 4.2 million
Full-time employees in 2003 85

Denver

Optimum provides management, technology, and outsourcing advice and services to small companies. The company's chairman and CEO, Monica Pleiman, is developing a division that will offer Spanish-language call-center support and staffing services.

23. Click Wine Group

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 910%
Revenue for 2003 27.1 million
Full-time employees in 2003 27

Seattle

Peter Click got his start importing wines from Australia and has since expanded his list to include vintages from Spain, Chile, and Germany. Though Click sells only to wholesalers, he uses his downtown Seattle office as a tasting center for sommeliers.

24. eMarket Group

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 894%
Revenue for 2003 4 million
Full-time employees in 2003 45

Portland, Oreg.

EMarket Group builds online shops to sell merchandise for media and entertainment companies -- often for limited-time releases such as the Spider-Man films. It handles payments, shipments, and customer service. Clients include Sony, HBO, and the Professional Bowlers Association.

25. DDM Direct

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 878%
Revenue for 2003 5.9 million
Full-time employees in 2003 97

Buffalo

Religious groups that want to get the word out and the donations in often turn to Carl Falletta's company, which designs, prints, and mails all sorts of materials, including church envelopes.

26. Chesterfield Health Services

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 876%
Revenue for 2003 9.7 million
Full-time employees in 2003 1,200

Seattle

The mother of an autistic son, Stella Ogiale founded this company to provide home care for disabled and elderly people. She's had a tough year. In February, four employees filed a lawsuit against Chesterfield, claiming they were not paid overtime properly. To counteract the bad press surrounding the lawsuit, Ogiale is increasing her focus on a company-funded nonprofit. "Doing good for the community is better than spending thousands of dollars on a marketing campaign," she says.

27. Compass Environmental

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 854%
Revenue for 2003 32.8 million
Full-time employees in 2003 185

Chicago

This company cleans up hazardous waste from contaminated sites, primarily former manufacturing facilities. One such site in New Jersey is now a golf course and resort hotel. In October, Compass acquired a competitor, Williams Environmental.

28. L.S. Brinker

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 837%
Revenue for 2003 48.9 million
Full-time employees in 2003 24

Detroit

In 1995, Larry Brinker moved his contracting company from downtown Detroit to an abandoned factory on the city's outskirts. Today, L.S. Brinker tackles a variety of challenging renovation projects, from Ford Field Stadium to Detroit's historic Paragon Building.

29. Pangea Group

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 824%
Revenue for 2003 30.2 million
Full-time employees in 2003 80

St. Louis

Most of Pangea's contracts for environmental cleanup and construction come from the government. That means its status as an 8a firm (8a is a government program that encourages government entities to direct a percentage of contracts to minority-owned and "socially disadvantaged" businesses) is a big advantage. CEO Michael Zambrana strengthened the company's position even more last year by moving it from the suburbs to an old St. Louis bank building. Now, Pangea can qualify for another special-status category: the SBA's Historically Underutilized Business program, which steers contracts to companies that are located in inner city or very rural areas.

30. K.O.O. Construction

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 818%
Revenue for 2003 22.9 million
Full-time employees in 2003 36

West Sacramento, Calif.

This construction company specializes in government projects and renovation jobs. CEO Keith Odister says the firm is flourishing in part because West Sacramento's local government expedites contracts and permits.

Last updated: Jun 1, 2005




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