43. Sandstorm Design
43. Sandstorm Design
Sandstorm Design CEO Sandy Marsico
2010 Revenues: $2 million
5-year Annual Growth Rate: 33%

Sandy Marsico
Location: Chicago, IL

About the business:
Sandstorm Design is a marketing and web design firm that specializes in branding and web development in Chicago. CEO Sandy Marsico started the company in 1998 because she was having trouble finding a job at a boutique agency. Finding clients was Sandstorm's biggest startup challenge, but today the firm's customers consist of B2B professional services companies and higher education institutions. Marsico attributes her company's success to finding the right people to whom she can delegate difficult tasks.

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.
- Last updated May 11 2012: 10:59 AM ET