48. Research Into Action
48. Research Into Action
2010 Revenues: $2.7 million
5-year Annual Growth Rate: 31%

Jane Peters
Location: Portland, OR

About the business:
Research Into Action in Portland specializes in program evaluation and research for utilities and energy agencies. Founded in Jane Peters' basement in 1996, RIA's fortune tends to change with shifts in regulatory environmental policy. Until 2000, Peters was the company's sole employee, but she now employs 26 people. Living the firm's mission, roughly one-third of the RIA workforce bikes or takes public transit to work. And Peters credits the company's Portland, Ore. location for Research Into Action's high rate of retention.

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) defines inner cities as core urban areas with higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median incomes than their surrounding metropolitan statistical areas. For the 2012 list, ICIC received more than 2,000 solicited nominations using its database of small businesses and through the support of its nominating partners, including the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Staples, New York City Department of Small Business Services, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Companies were ranked by compound annual growth rate (CAGR) based on their revenue over the five-year period between 2006 and 2010, the last year for which complete data was available. This list was audited by the independent accounting firm of Rucci Bardaro and Barrett, PC.
@FortuneMagazine - Last updated May 11 2012: 10:59 AM ET
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