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Peoples Services, Inc.: Going the Distance in Success, in Partnership with the SBA
Peoples Services Inc., a third party provider of transportation, warehouse management, packaging and distribution services, is celebrating its 100th year, tracing its roots to 1914 when it operated in Massillon, Ohio as a storage and furniture moving company. The company now has a presence in Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Michigan, and this family-owned company is thriving.
"There are three generations of hard work that have gone into making what Peoples Services is today, and our success is based on some of the core values that were established when my grandfather started Sibila Trucking,” Doug Sibila, the company's president and chief executive officer, states.
Growth and Stability through the Recession and Beyond with the SBA’s Help
In 2010 Peoples undertook a strategy which ultimately assisted it in growing through the recession into a position stronger than ever before. The SBA provided financing to fund the acquisition of Terminal Warehouse (a $2 million 504 loan) coordinated by CDC Stark Development Finance Corporation through the leadership of Senior Vice President Jeff Hasapis. Huntington Bank participated in the 504 project as the third party lender. The SBA’s involvement was critical at a time when financial markets were not making many real estate loans. Peoples soon benefited from a broader regional footprint by helping individual customers from multiple facilities with an array of services that included warehousing, packaging, transportation and distribution services. The company grew to operate 18 facilities within five states with over 430 employees. During the acquisition of Terminal Warehouse, that company’s retiring owner wanted to be sure the business would continue to grow using the team he had put together. Given that Peoples has historically valued and partnered with its employees – the company is partially employee owned – it was natural Peoples chose not to move the acquisitions, Terminal Warehouse’s senior management positions or reduce the number of its employees.
In addition, this year the company also acquired Central Warehouse Operations, Inc., once again making use of SBA’s 504 loan program. Now employing over 500, Peoples has expanded its ability to provide quality service to customers through six states. As a result of this direction, Peoples continues to pursue growth with customers for transportation and warehousing services, as well as value-added services including drumming, packaging, milling, tolling, inventory management, brokerage services and order fulfillment. The company continues to explore and leverage its purchasing power and company resources. This growth results in lower costs for the customer, all the while creating good jobs and contributing to the stability of the areas in which it operates.
Valuing Their Customers, Valuing Their Team
The Sibila family deeply believes that the strength of a company rests in those working for it. Because of this, the historical success of the company and the owners’ involvement in their community, the Sibila family was recognized with the 2012 Small Business Administration Region V's Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business of the Year Award. The Butland award is given to a family-owned and operated business which has been passed from one generation to the next and has at least a 15-year track record.
Once selected as the Cleveland winner, Peoples’ nomination package was sent to SBA’s Midwest region office where the company won the regional award over winners from the Columbus, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin districts. At the award ceremony SBA Cleveland District Director Gil Goldberg noted, “It is apparent that the Sibila family has made a huge difference in Canton and the surrounding community. We are proud to give this award to families like the Sibilas. They earned this honor for their service to other small and family-owned businesses, as well as their ability to weather the difficult economic times.”
“It means a lot to the family to get this recognition for our work to strengthen other family-owned businesses in the community,” stated Doug Sibila.