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Printing company Hotcards among ICIC and BusinessWeek Inner City 100

Monday, May 10, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Boston, MA - Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Bloomberg BusinessWeek released the 2010 Inner City 100 list of the fastest-growing inner city companies in the U.S. Hotcards, a Cleveland printing and design house, ranked 38th on this year's list. The Inner City 100 program recognizes successful inner city companies and their CEO's as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in America's urban communities.

The rankings for each company were announced at the Inner City 100 Awards Dinner on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 in Boston, MA. Winners attended a two-day event featuring seminars for Inner City 100 owners and managers at Harvard Business School, a reception at the Boston Public Library and an Awards Gala that drew more than 800 guests.

For the 2010 list, a record number of nominations were received.  Winners represent a wide span of geography, operating in 58 cities and 34 states.  The 2010 Inner City 100 winners grew at a compound annual growth rate of 37 percent and an average standard growth rate of 340 percent between 2003 and 2008. Collectively, the top 100 inner city businesses employ 10,700 employees and have created more than 6,300 new jobs between 2004 and 2008.

It's been over a decade since CEO Columbus Woodruff created Hotcards – a full-service, unionized printing house that has grown from a head office in Cleveland to include 12 locations nationwide. Hotcards is known for providing high quality, full color printing and graphic design services to clients ranging from charitable organizations and election campaigns, to music venues and sports organizations. "It's an honor to be ranked so highly on the ICIC 100," said Woodruff. "I'm thrilled for everybody on the team here at Hotcards, but I also hope this acknowledgment works to dispel some myths about inner city businesses, and about the printing industry itself, as segments that have been too fragile to stand up to the recession."

"We are delighted to celebrate businesses like Hotcards that are playing a critical role in revitalizing America's urban communities.  Through their achievements, the Inner City 100 winning companies exemplify America's remarkable potential and the road to future economic recovery," said Mary Kay Leonard, ICIC president and CEO. "These extraordinary companies demonstrate the market possibilities that exist within our inner cities.  If we can leverage these possibilities, we can create jobs, income, and wealth for local residents and produce the next chapter of American innovation and opportunity."

Eighty-five percent of companies expect steady growth and 27 percent expect their revenues to grow more than 30 percent. Individually, the median Inner City 100 Company's revenues were $6.6 million. This year's winners have a median employee turnover rate of less than 8 percent and 96 percent of them provide health insurance to their workers.

Woodruff points to a focus on employees, a fully automated print buying system available at Hotcards.com, recent investments in green printing technology, and the amazing community in Cleveland's inner city, as the pillars of Hotcards' continued growth and success.

The ICIC list is proof of concept that doing business in an inner city area holds a distinct competitive advantage.  ICIC has been studying the economic condition of the largest 100 American cities for more than a decade and is working to revitalize inner cities across the country.

Highlights of the 2010 Inner City 100 list include:
- Inner City 100 companies are 34 percent minority-owned.  Nationally, just 8 percent of companies with annual revenues over $1 million are minority-owned.
- 18 percent of the 2010 Inner City 100 are women-owned. Nationally, only 10 percent of companies with over $1 million in annual revenues are women-owned.
- The 2010 Inner City 100 boasts an average workforce that is comprised of 45 percent minority employees and 40 percent inner city residents.




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