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Ace Exhibits earns third Inner City 100 win

Ace Exhibits ranked 76th on the 2014 Inner City 100, a list of the fastest-growing inner city businesses in the U.S., according to Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and FORTUNE.

“It’s important to recognize businesses like Ace Exhibits that are truly driving economic growth and job creation and America’s urban cores,” said Matt Camp, president, ICIC. “We believe that inner cities hold unique competitive advantages for business and the success of these firms underscores that market opportunity.”

This year, for the first time in the list’s 16-year history, the Inner City 100 consists of 10 fast-growing businesses from 10 industry categories. This includes Construction, Manufacturing, Professional Services, Food and Beverage, Retail, Media and Communications, Software and Information Technology, Transportation and Logistics, and Healthcare and Biotechnology as well as Arts, Entertainment and Recreation.

Rankings were awarded based on revenue growth against industry peers and were also given based on an overall ranking.

“We’re honored to be recognized as a fastest-growing Inner City 100 award recipient for three years in a row,” said Tom Hand, president and CEO, Ace Exhibits. “We’re proud to play an important role in the revitalization of inner city economic development, where our employees and our multi-step quality control processes have been strong factors in our success.”

Among the Media and Communications industry category, Ace Exhibits ranked 8th. The Inner City 100 program recognizes successful inner city businesses and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in America’s urban communities. Ace Exhibits, a company that has been manufacturing and selling tradeshow products since 2006, reported 2013 revenues of $8.9 million and a gross growth rate of 134 percent from 2009 to 2013.

The rankings for each company were recently announced at the Inner City 100 Awards celebration in Boston, Mass. Prior to the awards announcement, winners attended a two-day small business symposium designed exclusively for urban firms, featuring business management case studies presented by Harvard Business School professors and peer-to-peer learning sessions led by CEOs of fast-growing firms. Keynote speakers included Harvard Business School Professor and ICIC Founder and Chairman Michael E. Porter; Honest Tea Founder and CEO Seth Goldman; Rapid7 President and CEO Corey Thomas; Communispace Chairman Diane Hessan; and Launch Co-Founder and CEO Ben Fischman.

The 2014 Inner City 100 winners represent a wide span of geography, hailing from 53 cities and 23 states. The winners grew at an average compound annual growth rate of 39 percent and an average gross growth rate of 336 percent between 2009 and 2013 – collectively employing 8,276 individuals and creating 5,119 new jobs. Not only are the winners powerful job creators in their communities, they also help develop their employees – 73 percent provide business skills training and 69 percent provide professional development training to all full-time employees.

Highlights of the 2014 Inner City 100 include:

  • Employ 8,276 workers — approximately 35 percent are inner city residents
  • Created 5,119 new jobs in the last five years
  • 25 percent have female CEOs — whereas, only 10 percent of national companies with over $1 million in annual revenues are female-owned
  • 35 percent have a minority CEO – whereas, only 21 percent of all national companies are headed by minorities.
  • Average company age is 17 years
  • 39 percent average compound annual growth rate
  • Companies generated $42.2 million in 2013 revenues on average and $4.2 billion in the aggregate

The full list of winners can be viewed at http://fortune.com/inner-city-100/.



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