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3 Utah companies named to Fortune Inner City 100 list

Published May 23, 2013 7:26 am

Urban businesses •Meteoric growth propels Neutron Interactive, Rico, Red Iguana in rankings.
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Three Salt Lake City-area companies have been named to the 2013 Inner City 100, a list of the fastest-growing companies in the country that have operations in central business districts.

The list, put together by Fortune magazine and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, recognizes successful companies and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in the nation's urban communities.

Salt Lake-based Neutron Interactive is No. 5 on the list.

The online marketing company, which specializes in lead generation for higher-education clients, reported 2011 revenue of $19.2 million and a five-year annual growth rate of 96 percent, according to Fortune.

"Partners Dan Caffee and Shaun Ritchie started Neutron Interactive with a handful of clients and funding from their credit cards," Fortune said. "The company originally recruited students for truck driving schools but was forced to pivot when the 2008 financial crisis reduced the demand for truck drivers. Neutron diversified its client base."

The Red Iguana, a Mexican restaurant with three locations in Salt Lake City, is No. 75 on the list.

Led by CEOs Luzmaria Cardenas and Bill Coker, the company in 2011 generated $7.1 million in revenue and had a five-year growth rate of 17 percent.

Rico Brands, a Salt Lake City-based company that makes Mexican food products that are distributed to restaurants and sold in supermarkets along the Wasatch Front, is No. 94 on the list.

Fortune noted that Rico Foods, founded and lead by Jorge Fierro, had a five-year annual growth rate of 11 percent and posted 2011 revenue of $4 million.

"We are excited to celebrate inner-city businesses like Neutron Interactive, Red Iguana and Rico Brands, whose success stories are not told nearly enough," Mary Kay Leonard, ICIC president and CEO, said in a statement. "These entrepreneurs are the driving economic forces in America's urban cores, growing their communities along with their businesses."

Collectively, the top 100 inner-city businesses employ 10,391 people and created more than 5,863 jobs from 2007 to 2011.

steve@sltrib.com

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