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Minority-Owned Roofing Company Adds Competitive Edge with SBA Programs

Minority-Owned Roofing Company Adds Competitive Edge with SBA Programs

Situation

Advanced Design Contracting is a construction company known for installing roofing systems in commercial construction, historical renovation, and executive buildings. It is a union shop that self-performs its contracts, which means its employees do all the work it bids on, not subcontracting it out to others - an important quality control that benefits its clients, including the federal government.

Owner Foster Hackett III started the company in 2008. A self-described, “construction worker by training” with limited college and business education, he reached out for assistance learning the business of his trade and has grown the company exponentially using multiple SBA programs and services.

Solution

Hackett initially attended the Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunities Council’s Procurement Fair, meeting with both buyers and economic development agencies, including the SBA, and jumping at the chance to learn from the trainings and experts there. In 2017, Hackett entered the SBA’s 8(a) program and the contracts received from it have been propelling growth ever since. Through the program, Advanced Design Contracting has done work for the Bureau of Prisons, UNICOR, the Army Corps of Engineers, the 934th Airlift Wing, and the General Services Administration.

He went on to use the 7(j) Management and Technical Assistance Program to add DCAA audit compliant accounting system and strengthen cybersecurity within the organization. The company has doubled its bonding capabilities more than once through the SBA’s Surety Bond Program. Hackett’s also benefited from the surplus property part of the 8(a) program, utilizing a box truck at first, milling equipment, a forklift, and other business critical assets.

When the COVID pandemic hit, several projects were delayed or canceled. He used both the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to help the company continue operations and move forward.  

Outcome

Foster credits the help he was able to receive from the SBA as instrumental to the success and survival of his company. As a minority-owned company, Hackett’s use of SBA’s programs have provided Advanced Design Contracting the chance to grow and succeed in a field dominated by large legacy companies, which together accounted for nearly three-fourths of total US roofing sales in 2016.

Of the SBA’s help, Foster shared this insight, “As I learned to use the SBA programs, the business grew.  The tools are there.  The information is there. Are you willing to take the time to learn it?”