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Markets and Opportunities

Companies, customers and opportunities in the urban marketplace

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Inner cities are among the most valuable locations in their regions, convenient to high-rent business centers, world-class universities and medical centers and critical infrastructure assets. For inner city firms, shipping is faster and cheaper and transportation is more convenient. Cities are home to a quarter of the nation’s deepwater ports, a third of existing intermodal facilities and two-thirds of the nation’s 50 busiest airports – along with two-thirds of U.S. consumers.

Over the next 20 years, ethnic minorities will grow to nearly 40% of the U.S. population, mostly in cities. They will join a variety of Americans who are moving back into the city in record numbers, broadening the size, diversity and wealth of the economic base even more. In short, inner cities are where the markets are and where they will grow.

ICIC is the leading authority on inner city businesses, market opportunities and business conditions.

We determine the industries with the highest market opportunity for inner city business growth and guide institutions and decision-makers to new investment opportunities and some of the world's fastest-growing companies.

  • Our State of the Inner City Economies database examines trends in business activity, investment and employment in 100 U.S. cities, their inner cities and regions and provides insights into the most viable market opportunities.
  • Cluster analysis identifies urban industries and inter-industry relationships with the greatest potential to accelerate value creation, revenue and market growth.
  • Custom studies and strategy by ICIC’s nationally respected research and advising teams equip decision makers with the tools to guide investment, strategic partnerships and site selection.
  • ICIC’s unique national network connects the people who get things done in urban environments: CEOs, capital providers, elected officials and institutional and community leaders.

Case History

Beyond CSR

How Big Businesses Can Help Itself by Helping its Neighbors

Twenty percent of Standard and Poor’s large and mid-cap companies have their headquarters in disadvantaged urban areas. Harvard Business School Professor and ICIC founder Michael Porter explains how companies can benefit their communities simply by doing more business close to home. Read the article.

CEO Insights

Revolution Foods

Oakland, CA

  • For years business migration was to the suburbs. Now there's a decided resurgence in many American cities. We just have to get the investment community to understand that.


Henry Cisneros,

Executive Chairman, City View and
Former U.S. Secretary

Housing and Urban Development

  • ICIC’s innovative research has catalyzed a new wave of investment and enterprise in neighborhoods that were often bypassed by economic progress.


Phil Angelides,


Canyon Johnson Urban Community Fund

for our monthly Inner City Insights.

© 2016 Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. All rights reserved.

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