Local Award Bestowed at Puerto Rico MED Week Celebration
SAN JUAN, PR – The Puerto Rico office of the U.S. Small Business Administration today bestowed local honors upon National Minority Small Business Person of the Year Oscar Quiles, president of Pentaq Manufacturing Corp. in Sabana Grande, as the 2011 Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week on the island came to an end. Quiles was named SBA’s National Minority Small Business Person of the Year during the closing awards ceremony for the 29th annual Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week conference in Washington, D.C. last month.
“Oscar’s national award was the culmination of an outstanding fiscal year for our office and another success for all Puerto Ricans,” said SBA District Director José R. Sifontes at the local MED Week event hosted by the Puerto Rico Minority Business Enterprise Center in San Juan. “Oscar’s commitment as a minority entrepreneur is demonstrated in the jobs he is creating and in the manufacturing contracts he is fulfilling for the U.S. government. He is living proof that dedication and perseverance are the conduits to success, even amidst trying times. We couldn’t be prouder of his achievements”
Quiles got his start in the military apparel and occupational uniform manufacturing business in the ‘90s, when he worked for his family’s business, Caribbean Needlepoint Inc. In 2003, with support from the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, Quiles bought a manufacturing plant that was about to close, leaving 50 people unemployed. With additional support from the Workforce Investment Act Program and from the state government’s Work and Nutritional Assistance Program, he was able to keep all employees on payroll.
In 2004, Pentaq Manufacturing Corp. was born, specializing in commercial military clothing, military uniforms and related products. Soon after, the Department of Defense (DoD) awarded the company a $3.2 million contract to manufacture uniforms and tents for U.S. troops. Pentaq later produced universal uniforms that U.S. forces are now wearing in Afghanistan.
Certified in the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, today the company has 160 employees and $3.2 million in revenues. As a prime contractor, Pentaq was recently awarded a DoD contract valued at $12.1 million to manufacture coats and trousers. Also recently, the Coast Guard awarded Pentaq $5.1 million in contracts to manufacture shirts and trousers.
To fulfill these contracts successfully, Pentaq has subcontracted companies in the municipalities of Mayagüez (Propper International Inc.), Camuy (Aurora Industries LLC) and Lajas (M&M Manufacturing LLC). As a subcontractor, for the past four years Pentaq has been manufacturing army combat uniform units and mesh storage bags for Propper International. Moreover, the company is currently manufacturing bednets, carrybags and a variety of patrol packs for MMI Outdoor.
For the National Minority Small Business Person of the Year Award, Quiles was selected from a group of 10 regional winners that also represented Massachusetts, Virginia, South Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Kansas, South Dakota, California, and Washington.
For more information on SBA programs and services, visit www.sba.gov/pr.