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11 area firms among Inc. magazine's list of fastest growing companies

By JON CHAVEZ • Aug 15, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Eleven companies in northwest Ohio — including one from Sandusky — have been named to Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America.

The new list, which was released Wednesday, includes eight firms that are on the list for the first time, along with one Toledo firm that is making its appearance on the Inc. 5000 for the sixth time.

No. 4,683 on the list is W.A. Smith Financial Group, of Sandusky, a financial services company. It had a growth rate of 61 percent and revenues of $4.6 million. It was founded in 2011 and has 17 employees.

The highest company in the region to make the list — and one of the Toledo area’s prime success story — was Swanton-based Willy’s, the maker of Willy’s Fresh Salsa.

Willy’s, formed in 2006, is a graduate of the area’s Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen in Luckey, and now has its own salsa-making operation for products it sells to grocery chains in 35 states throughout the East, South, and as far west as Idaho.

Willy’s ranked No. 651 on the 38th annual list with a three-year growth rate of 679 percent. It’s 2018 revenues were $2.9 million, according to the magazine. Although it is 651st overall, Willy’s is the 12th fastest growing company in Ohio, with 31 employees.

Making the list for the second consecutive year was Ohio Cashflow of Toledo, a real estate management and investment firm begun in 2014 and which finds investment grade properties, buys and renovates them, finds a tenant, and then offers them for investing purposes. It was ranked No. 716 with $3.6 million in revenues and a growth rate of 612 percent. It has 10 employees.

On the Inc. list for the first time at No. 1,430 was COFC Logistics, a logistics and transportation firm that has nine employees and is located in Holland. It had a growth rate of 289 percent and revenues of $72.2 million, the magazine said.

At No. 1,793 was Polaris Logistics Group, located in downtown Toledo. A third-party logistics firm that arranges transportation for clients who need to move a truckload, flatbed, intermodal, or less-than-a-truckload (LTL) freight, Polaris also made the Inc. list last year.

For this year’s list it was credited with an annual growth rate of 228 percent and revenues of $14.5 million.

“We are excited to be listed in the Inc. 5000 for the second straight year. Only 25 percent of companies listed make it on the list a second time,” said Dan Nester, President and CEO of Polaris, which was founded in 2013 and has 20 employees. “We have been able to thrive in our various marketplaces by providing our customer technology when they want it and people when they need them,” he said.

There was another first-timer on the list at No. 1,892 — Johnson Roofing & Restoration, a roof repair and construction firm based in Toledo. Founded in 2006, the firm had revenues of $3.3 million.

At No. 2,530 was the veteran of northwest Ohio companies that made the list — Material Handling Services, of Perrysburg, which made the Inc. 5000 for the sixth consecutive time.

Material Handling Services provides products like loading dock and safety equipment. It also provides services like maintenance and truck fleet management so that companies can move products and materials at their facilities.

This past year the firm’s growth rate was 155 percent and its 2018 revenues were $694.4 million, according to Inc. The company has 1,700 employees.

Five other companies made the list for the first time:

No. 2,942 Cutting Edge Countertops, a Perrysburg company that offers kitchen and bath countertops and other products in five Midwestern states. It’s growth rate was 127 percent and revenues were $23.4 million. Founded in 2006, it has 191 employees.

No. 3,361 Keller Logistics, a Defiance-based company that provides freight brokerage services. Founded in 1978, its growth rate was 106 percent and revenues were $14.9 million. It has 10 employees.

No. 4,257 Proforma Add-A-Line, of Lima, Ohio, a company that distributes business-to-business print and promotional items at reduced costs. The company, founded in 1995, had a growth rate of 72 percent and revenues of $4.2 million. It has 15 employees.

No. 4,692 Cardinal Staffing Services, of Maumee. Cardinal provides recruiting and employee staffing services to companies in five states. Its growth rate was 61 percent and revenues were $48.9 million. It has 1,200 employees.

In 2018 just five companies from northwest Ohio and two from southeast Michigan made the Inc. 5000 list.

The magazine said its 2019 list showed “staggering growth” compared with prior years.

The 2019 5000 companies had a three-year average growth rate of 454 percent, and a median rate of 157 percent. The aggregate revenue of this year’s list was $237.7 billion (2018 revenues) and accounted for 1.2 million jobs over the past three years.

No. 1 on the 2019 list was Freestar, a Phoenix advertising firm that works on brand development for web-based firms. It had an astonishing three-year growth rate of 36,680 percent and revenues of $36.9 million.

No. 5000 was Vivayic, a Lincoln, Neb. firm that provides business-to-business learning systems for government, non-profits, and human resource clients. Its growth rate was 52 percent and revenues were $4.5 million.

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