JACKSONVILLE, FL. - Harold Boyett, owner of Blue Streak Couriers, began his career in the delivery business at UPS when he was 18 years old. He worked his way up through many positions to a mid-level management position. While employed at UPS, he learned of Blue Streak Couriers, a same-day courier service that was an agent for UPS Sonic Air in Jacksonville, Florida. After much consideration and evaluation, Mr. Boyett took ownership of Blue Streak in 2005. Since his acquisition of the company, he has steadily created jobs and grown revenue approximately 500% over 8 years.
When Mr. Boyett purchased the business, he knew he would have some challenges ahead in terms of changing the business model. In October 2004, regulation was passed that allowed banks and credit unions to electronically process checks, whereas prior to that, courier services were heavily used to transport paper checks. Mr. Boyett quickly diversified the business to focus on transporting tangible products, including clinical lab work and supply distribution in the office products and healthcare industries. He also rapidly expanded the business from northeast Florida to all major markets in Florida by 2007.
In addition to rapidly growing the geographic territory of the business, Mr. Boyett also aggressively increased the number of jobs created in the community. Mr. Boyett has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as an “SBA 100” business. This distinction was given to 100 business owners across the country that created over 100 jobs in their industries. Blue Streak Couriers currently employs 43 full-time employees and contracts with over 200 microbusinesses to provide courier services.
Mr. Boyett began his transition from mid-level manager to successful business owner by working with SBA resource partner, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), in 2004, when he was first considering the purchase of Blue Streak. Since that time, he continues to work with Cathy Hagan, a Business Analyst at the SBDC, to evaluate opportunities for growth of the company and to manage this growth. The Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida provides management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. For more information, visit the SBDC at UNF’s website at www.sbdc.unf.edu.
Mr. Boyett initially received a 7(a) loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to fund the acquisition of Blue Streak and a subsequent SBA 504 loan to help finance the acquisition of two business condominiums to house the administrative operations of the company. The 7(a) Loan Program is SBA’s primary program to help start-up and existing small businesses to obtain financing when they might not be eligible for business loans through normal lending channels. For more information on 7(a) loans, visit http://www.sba.gov/financialassistance, and for a list of SBA lenders in North Florida, please visit www.sba.gov/fl/north.
The SBA 504 loan program provides long-term, fixed-rate financing to acquire fixed assets (such as real estate or equipment) for expansion or modernization. It is designed for small businesses requiring “brick and mortar” financing, and is delivered by Certified Development Companies (CDCs, private, non-profit corporations set up to contribute to the economic development of their communities). For more information, visit http://www.sba.gov/financialassistance.
Blue Streak Couriers has been recognized by the Jacksonville Business Journal as one of the 50 fastest growing businesses in the area for three of the past four years. Mr. Boyett has also received recognition from industry-specific publications such as Courier Magazine.
In his spare time, Mr. Boyett supports the courier industry through his active participation in several organizations including the Florida State Messenger’s Association, the Customized Delivery and Logistics Association, and the Express Carriers Association. He also informally mentors other small business owners that have started their own local courier service. Lastly, he donates his time and expertise by speaking to the entrepreneurship class each semester at the University of North Florida where he shares his knowledge regarding his experience as an entrepreneur.
While his company’s growth is often attributed to the use of innovative technology to produce results for customers, Mr. Boyett insists that the key to his success is his focus on customer service and a sense of loyalty from those customers in return.
In addition to contributing his time to help other small business owners, Mr. Boyett also actively contributes to several local charities including Dreams Come True of Jacksonville and the Pulse Youth Center.
For more information on Blue Streak Couriers, please visit www.bluestreakcouriers.com.
For more information on SBA’s Programs and Services, please visit www.sba.gov.
Orlando, FL --- Harry Arnon, President and CEO of Hernon Manufacturing, Inc. was recently named the 2013 District, State, and Regional Exporter of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Hernon Manufacturing produces over 5,000 high performance adhesives, sealants, and processing equipment. Hernon serves multiple industries including: ammunition, defense, aerospace, automotive, electrical and heavy equipment. The company sells in more than 25 countries, engaging strategic partners to repackage and/or distribute their products in those nations. All Hernon products are made in the United States.
Hernon Manufacturing, an already established business in the Orlando area for over 20 years, recently worked with SBA resource partner, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Central Florida, to grow its exporting division. The SBDC is helping Hernon evaluate, recommend, and target overseas markets to position the company for its tremendous growth opportunities. For more information on the SBDC, please visit www.floridasbdc.com.
The company currently exports its products to the following countries: Costa Rica, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Egypt, South Africa, China, India, Israel, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the Dominican Republic.
Harry Arnon has built the 12th largest manufacturing business in the State of Florida. His company received over one million dollars in contracts to some of the world’s largest defense contractors and has signed joint venture and distribution agreements in over 20 countries. To facilitate this rapid growth, Hernon has leased additional manufacturing space while it builds and expands into a 70,000 square-foot plant by year end 2013.
Hernon Manufacturing started as a home-based business in 1978, but now employs 40 people, and experienced a 32% increase in annual revenues in 2012 due to its participation in the SBDC program.
Mr. Arnon recently stated “SBA has been an important asset in Hernon’s success. We have found the SBA staff helpful and willing to go the extra mill to help our staff.”
The company’s growth and success have been recognized in the business community as Hernon Manufacturing was named one of the 50 Florida Companies to Watch of 2012. Out of more than 400 nominees, Hernon was selected to receive this honorable distinction due to its impressive employment rates, revenue growth, entrepreneurial leadership, product innovation, social responsibility and competitive business practices. Hernon received the William C. Schwartz Industry Innovation Award for its new water-proofing technology for ammunition used by the military and law enforcement, as well as for an advanced process of applying sealants to bullets.
For more information about Hernon Manufacturing, please contact (407) 322-4000 or visit www.hernon.com.
Jacksonville, FL --- Lauren Little, Multi-franchise Owner, Edible Arrangements was recently awarded the 2013 District and State Veteran Owned Small Business of the year. Edible Arrangements is a creator of handcrafted fruit arrangements and gourmet chocolate dipped fruit. Little opened her first franchise in 2007 in the Avondale area of Jacksonville through the assistance of an SBA backed loan.
In 2009, Little purchased an existing franchise in the Mandarin area of Jacksonville. Combined her franchises are generating nearly $1 million in annual revenue, and have created 4 full-time and 16 part-time jobs for the local economy.
In order to grow her business, Little initially networked at local events and meetings. She also worked closely with two SBA resource partners, including the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center (JWBC) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of North Florida, for technical assistance and training. For more information on the JWBC please visit www.JaxWBC.com. For more information on the SBDC, please visit www.floridasbdc.com.
As a former U.S. Marine, Little gained perspective on running a business and focusing on service as a core value. Little consistently donates excess fruit to the Clara White Mission, a local non-profit that provides shelter, meals, and training for those in need. In addition to donating food, Little also employs members of the Mission’s culinary arts program to assist her businesses during peak volume seasons.
Additionally, Little also donates orange slices along the running routes at various running events such as the March River Run, Marty 5K, and the Marine Corps 1/2 Marathon and Patriotic 5K. She donates school supplies for teachers at Eugene Butler Middle School, and also donates proceeds from the sale of the Breast Cancer Awareness arrangements to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Lauren Little has also won several other awards, including the 2010 Women in Business Franchisee of the year, the 2011 Small Business Leader for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, and the 2011 Jacksonville Business Journal Diversity award.
For more information on the Edible Arrangements Company, visit www.ediblearrangements.com. Lauren Little may be contacted at (904) 262-6632 or (904) 384-5217.