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
180% 22.9 million 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
178% 13.2 million 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.
174% 3 million 21
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.
171% 20.7 million 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
169% 4.3 million 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.
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)
162% 43.2 million 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
156% 30.1 million 27
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.
Are Things Happening in Detroit?
Kwame Kilpatrick, the optimistic mayor of Detroit and winner of this year's ICIC Mayoral Leadership Award, believes the Motor City is becoming a hotbed of entrepreneurship, despite what others say.
2005 Inner City Almanac
Why do companies locate in the inner city? What was the average valuation of companies on the 2005 list? And what contributed most to their growth over the past five years? Discover answers to these questions and more in this collection of interesting facts and statistics about the companies that made the 2005 Inner City 100 list.
2005 Inner City 100 Hall of Fame
Three companies will appear on the Inner City 100 for the fifth time out of the seven years that the list has been in existence. Here are this year's inductees into the Inner City Hall of Fame.
2005 Inner City 100 Countdown
Inc.com counted down to this year's list by profiling several Inner City honorees in the Fresh Inc. weblog.