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Monday, Dec 5, 2022

Double Time

The fastest-growing companies in Orange County with revenues of less than $10 million combined to nearly double their sales over the past two years to $399 million.

The 88 businesses also grew their combined OC workforce by more than 75% for a total of 2,140 employees as of June 30.

This week’s Business Journal Special Report includes three lists of the fastest-growing companies that have headquarters here, separated by current revenue size. Businesses that reported revenues below $10 million were included in the “small” category; those reporting at least $10 million and below $100 million were in the “midsize” segment, and those with $100 million or more made the “large” category.

The lists compare revenues from the 12-month period through June with those from the same period two years prior. They rank the companies by percentage gains, with a 15% minimum.

First Time

The lists are split by company size for the first time, primarily because companies starting from smaller bases would be more apt to notch higher percentage gains. That helps explain the relatively high number of companies in the “small” category, which features 88 entries, more than half of the total of 174 across the three lists.

The “small” group also had a growth rate that was more than double the overall rate, of 95% versus 41%.

• Santa Ana-based construction equipment lessor BigRentz.com was the fastest grower over the past two years, with its revenue increasing by 1,268.5% to about $6.7 million. The company has 54 employees now versus four two years ago (see related story, page 26).

• No. 2 was Spotswood Consulting in Irvine, which had a 1,033.3% increase in revenue to $3.4 million from $300,000 two years ago. The company, which is also known as SCMSP, provides business technology and staffing services. It was founded in 2006 by Derek Spotswood, who serves as managing principal, and currently has 12 employees.

• The entry with the largest dollar-amount increase over the two years was United Medical Credit in Irvine, which grew by $6.8 million, or 425%, to $8.4 million, good for the No. 8 spot. United Medical, which was founded in 2011 by Matthew Libman, provides medical loans and financing.

“If someone wants to have a procedure done and is not able to get financing, the traditional financing companies will only work with the cream-of-the-crop credit, if you will,” Libman said. “There is a need for those people to get a second look. We work with a lot of lenders. We’re good at getting people from a wide range of credit profiles approved. That’s great for the patient, and also for the doctors’ offices because they’re people they would have lost out on.”

BigRentz.com, Spotswood Consulting, and United Medical Credit are among 36 companies that are new to the list.

This year’s newcomers combined for a faster rate of growth—137%—and a smaller dollar-amount increase—$93.6 million—than returning entries. Companies returning from last year’s rankings combined to grow by 74%, or by $101 million.

Ice Bulb

Anaheim-based Ice Bulb LLC was among the 52 companies that were on last year’s list.

The ice decor company came in at No. 49 with 78.1% growth to $814,110. The recent growth followed a 68% revenue increase that put the company at No. 90 on last year’s list.

Founder Marc Entin said the company has been “trying to find creative paths” for business growth.

“There are new things opening up in the ice industry, which is allowing us to grow,” he said, citing the “high-end restaurants and luxury ice” niche, for instance.

“Hotels don’t use regular ice cubes,” he said. “We’re talking about luxury ice balls and spheres. We ship a tremendous amount throughout the country. We’re in 13 hotels in the Strip in Las Vegas, and our biggest client locally is Disneyland.”

Entin said the company also travels with live ice-carving shows, “kind of like the Blue Man Group,” using chainsaws. “We’re trying to find ways to enhance what we do. When people hear ice decor, a lot of people think it’s the swan in the hotel buffet. That’s really not what our business is.”

Ice Bulb has 12 employees, up from seven in mid-2012.

• Optimum Employer Solutions LLC, which provides human resources outsourcing services, also repeated on the list this

year, at No. 62, with 59% growth to $8 million. The increase followed 15% growth between mid-2011 and mid-2013, which landed the company at No. 163 on last year’s list.

Michele Bianchi, director of sales and marketing at the Newport Beach-based firm, said the “service that we provide is becoming more and more necessary,” driven largely by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the accompanying changes.

“Small businesses aren’t really equipped to address what’s required by the ACA,” Bianchi said. “[They] are tasked with doing more with less, and they need to focus on their core business. Our service allows the chief executive officer to focus on the core and not get bogged down with employee benefits and human resources.”

Optimum’s Workforce, Plans

Optimum has 13 employees after adding three over the past two years.

Bianchi said there are plans to “add at least double that next year,” to help support the sales side and to build the Northern California office the company recently opened.

• Engineering firm Hall & Foreman Inc. was No. 85 on the list with a 20% growth rate over the past two years. It had $9.9 million in revenue for the year through June, the highest amount on the list. Tustin-based Hall & Foreman has 35 employees, up from 29 two years ago.

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