Woman-Owned company in transportation industry originally established as supplier with only one employee expands competencies to become manufacturer, grows to almost 100 employees
Santa Ana, CA – The Santa Ana District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration is pleased to announce Connie Lightcap as the recipient of the 2013 Small Business Person of the Year Award. Lightcap, President of JC Supply and Manufacturing, was nominated for the award by Hilda Kennedy, President of AmPac TriState Certified Development Company, an SBA certified development company. “Connie’s success as a business owner came by putting her employees and the community first,” stated SBA District Director Adalberto Quijada. “Her innovative business model has proven quite effective and serves as an example to others in her industry.”
Lightcap Industries, Inc. dba JC Supply & Manufacturing began in 1998 as a supplier of concrete paving materials and building products for the precast segment of the concrete construction market. In 2006, the company received a major contract to supply load transfer dowels and assemblies for the LAX Airbus Taxiway. Due to the contract provisions JC Supply & Manufacturing was asked for greater participation in order to fulfill the disadvantaged business goals and products of domestic origin requirements. Realizing the opportunity, JC Supply proposed their participation in the manufacturing process in joint venture with their supplier, a major manufacturer. Prior to the job start, JC Supply & Manufacturing experienced problems with their partner and was forced to complete the job on their own, building semi-automated equipment and securing raw materials exceeding 4 million pounds of steel. With the majority of their market being in the highway sector, JC Supply and Manufacturing then made investments and a move to a facility to support their manufacturing growth.
JC Supply & Manufacturing negotiated a long term lease of a 9.3 acre facility with 130,000 square feet under roof and began ramping up manufacturing efforts in July 2008, unbeknownst of the financial crisis in loom. Fortunately for Connie's business and others in her industry, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 directed significant investment into the rebuilding of infrastructure. In fact, from 2009-2011, the height of the economic recession, JC Supply and Manufacturing had significant growth in sales, job creation, and profits.
One of the most remarkable aspects of JC Supply is their business model, through which 30% of profits are distributed to employees, 30% of profits are committed to product design and industry promotion, 30% of the profits are distributed to shareholders, and 10% of the profits are donated to a variety of nonprofit organization. The company’s CEO and President presented this business model at the National Transportation Workforce Summit in Washington DC and attested how it has helped their company experience significant growth in sales, job creation and profits from 2009 through 2011 all the while creating new technologies and realizing production efficiencies.
Despite manufacturing in a state where the costs of doing business are high, and being based in the Inland Empire where the job market was among the hardest hit in the country, JC Supply has not only weathered but grown considerably during the economic recession as demonstrated by their 75% growth in sales over the past three years . JC Supply’s assistance from the SBA includes multiple CDC/504 loans for commercial real estate, the most recent being in 2012 for $6.7 million to purchase the company’s current headquarters in Ontario, California.
Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business and they create two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. As part of National Small Business Week, SBA takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others. Every day they’re working to grow small business, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness. For more information, please visit www.sba.gov/nsbw.