21. Luggage Forward
21. Luggage Forward
2010 Revenues: $2.6 million
5-year Annual Growth Rate: 55%

Ezekiel Adkins
Location: Boston, MA

About the business:
Chasing after the airlines for lost luggage is a surefire way to ground a vacation high. In fact, the threat of lost luggage is a big enough bummer that some customers will pay for a company, outside of the airlines, to guarantee punctual delivery of bags from doorstep to destination. Enter Luggage Forward, which bills itself as a travel company -- not a shipping company -- that nonetheless coordinates with a network of carriers -- including UPS and FedEx -- to ship luggage on time. Luggage Forward CEO Zeke Adkins and a high school buddy started the company in 2004, working out of their condo in Watertown, Massachusetts. Since then, it has helped vacationers maintain peace of mind about their baggage, shipping to over 200 countries and territories all over the world.

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
Join the Conversation
How small businesses grow, even in a tough economy

This year's Inner City 100 companies have fought off a sluggish economy through a combination of smart investment and savvy strategy. Here's how they are doing it.