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August 16, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Knoxville area places 14 companies on Inc. 5000 list including seven repeaters from last year

Seven of the 11 Knoxville area companies that made the 2019 listing of Inc. magazine’s 5000 fastest growing privately held companies are again included in the 2020 rankings that were released late last week.

In terms of consecutive times on the list for a local company, first place goes to KaTom Restaurant Supply Inc., now a 12-time listee. Other repeats from last year are, in alphabetical order: Axle LogisticsBoston Government Services, Priority AmbulanceK&P EnterprisesMac’s LTC Pharmacy Solutions, and RDI Technologies Inc.

New entrants from the Knoxville area this year are, again in alphabetical order: Arsenal Strength (Knoxville), FourSeasons Inc. (Knoxville), Karen Coffey Coaching (Knoxville), Ole Smoky Distillery (Gatlinburg), ICC International (Maryville), ONE Business Solutions (Seymour), and RCN Technologies (Knoxville).

RDI Technologies, which at #33 in the nation last year was the Knoxville region’s highest listed company, again led the region, but this time at #301. How does that happen? The methodology that Inc. uses is the percentage of a company’s revenue growth in a three-year period, making it a real challenge to continue to outperform yourself year-after-year. For the latest listing, it was between 2016 and 2019. For last year’s rankings, it was 2015 to 2018.

According to the Inc. database, RDI Technologies reported a very impressive 1,499 percent increase in revenues during the latest period, compared to a 6,492 percent for 2015 to 2018. The company that ranked #33 this year reported a 7,424 percent increase, and the company that topped the list – Atlanta-based OneTrust – reported a 48,337 percent increase.

In total, the State of Tennessee placed 86 companies on the list. Williamson County, if you combine both Brentwood and Franklin, led the state with a combined 24 listed companies, closely followed by Nashville with 23. Chattanooga came in third with 11, not counting a company in its region in neighboring Bradley County, followed by Knoxville which Inc. listed as having eight, but that excluded Mac’s Pharmacy which was identified as Powell.

The 2020 Inc. 5000 achieved a three-year average growth of more than 500 percent and a median rate of 165 percent. The honorees’ aggregate revenue was $209 billion in 2019, accounting for more than one million jobs over the past three years.

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring the companies on the list will be held virtually from October 23 to 27.

Here’s a link to the complete list that is sortable by state, city, and industry sector. If you are really interested in comparing performance between 2020 and 2019, here’s a link to the same database from a year ago.

Finally, we have posted article on many of the honorees. You can find a recent three-part series (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) on Patricia Bible and KaTom, a two-part series on K&P (Part 1 and Part 2), the most recent two-part series on RDI Technologies (Part 1 and Part 2), BGS, and RCN Technologies.

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