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The Inner City 100

100 street-smart companies.

91. Christy Webber Landscapes

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 182%
Revenue for 2003 6.9 million
Full-time employees in 2003 135


Landscaper Christy Webber gets a big kick out of turning the city of Chicago green. She's about to close on a 12-acre former industrial brownfield, where she hopes to create an ecofriendly home base -- with rooftop greenhouses and a pond -- for about five landscaping companies.

92. Rysar Properties

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 180%
Revenue for 2003 22.9 million
Full-time employees in 2003 45


This real estate development and construction company is refurbishing apartment buildings (a mix of low-income units and luxury lofts) from downtown to the outer reaches of Cleveland. CEO Ken Lurie says his company makes a special effort to work with first-time homebuyers.

93. Redbarn Pet Products

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 178%
Revenue for 2003 13.2 million
Full-time employees in 2003 90

Long Beach, Calif.

Redbarn makes fresh-meat dog food. Of the eight new products Redbarn launched in the past year, the top seller has been the Pooch Pizza, an eight-slice pie of cheese-and-pepperoni-flavored dog treats that comes in a little square box.

94. ExecuScribe

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 174%
Revenue for 2003 3 million
Full-time employees in 2003 21

Rochester, N.Y.

Linda Yaniszewski recently signed a 10-year lease on a downtown office space for her corporate and medical transcription company. The building is a block from the Rochester Museum & Science Center. "We've renewed our commitment to the city," Yaniszewski says.

95. Kira

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 171%
Revenue for 2003 20.7 million
Full-time employees in 2003 320


Kira uses technology to build and maintain sites for the military in 12 states. Dispatchers track maintenance workers using GPS devices and assign them to jobs accordingly. CEO Carlos Garcia has lined up $350 million in Pentagon contracts spanning the next 15 years.

96. American Christmas Decorations

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 169%
Revenue for 2003 4.3 million
Full-time employees in 2003 91

New York City

If you've been to New York City during the holidays, you've probably seen Fred Schwam's handiwork. Each Christmas season, Schwam's South Bronx company decks out Radio City Music Hall, Macy's, and dozens of Midtown skyscrapers with everything from Christmas trees to giant nutcracker dolls. Last year, he began selling do-it-yourself holiday kits to national retailers such as Banana Republic and Nine West. One place Schwam doesn't decorate for Christmas is his own house -- he's Jewish.

97. Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 164%
Revenue for 2003 9.2 million
Full-time employees in 2003 125


Skyrocketing insurance rates are plaguing the limo industry, but CEO Dawson Rutter has been able to keep rates in check at Commonwealth by installing DriveCam in his 110-car fleet. The technology keeps tabs on excessive G-forces, ensuring a smoother ride for the well-heeled customer while helping the company avoid accidents. Keeping costs in check is a top priority now that Commonwealth has entered the New York City market.

98. T3 (The Think Tank)

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 162%
Revenue for 2003 43.2 million
Full-time employees in 2003 113


After watching her grandfather run a wholesale hosiery business and then her mother and father start, respectively, a kindergarten and an engineering firm, Gay Warren Gaddis never questioned her ability to succeed as an entrepreneur. Her ad agency, set up in a collection of houses in Austin, counts MTV and Dell among its clients.

99. Belstone Stone & Tile Sales

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 156%
Revenue for 2003 30.1 million
Full-time employees in 2003 27

Newark, N.J.

Brothers Henry, Miguel, and Vincent Beltra are helping to revive Newark's Ironbound neighborhood. Belstone, which imports stone from around the world, is headquartered there in a 10-acre complex where submarines were built during World War II. The firm also has warehouses in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Knoxville, Tenn., through which flow 35,000 tons of granite, marble, and slate each year.

100. Artuso Pastry

Revenue growth from 1999 to 2003 151%
Revenue for 2003 2.7 million
Full-time employees in 2003 46

New York City

Anthony Artuso Jr. has big plans for the family business. Click here to read the full profile.

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