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Security Guard to Security Services Provider

Printella Bankhead, President of EBS Security Inc. (EBS) started her business in 2002 with limited resources and 1 client. EBS provides armed/unarmed security services, as well as bodyguard, and private investigator services. Bankhead was working 2 jobs and was raising her 2 young children in the mid 1990’s on her own after a divorce. Determined to find a better way to support her family, Bankhead took a position as a security guard. She immediately felt connected to the industry and decided to quit the other positions to work security full-time. She re-enlisted in college and majored in Criminal Justice.

Bankhead quickly became a supervisor and remained in that role for about 10 years with the same company. The company provided security to a church, where Bankhead was first approached to start her own business. The pastor of the church was impressed with Bankhead’s integrity and professionalism, but not happy with the company she worked for. He asked her if she had ever thought about going into business for herself and told her that if she decided to go into business for herself, he would be her first client.

Her challenge was that even though she was highly knowledgeable and skilled in the security industry, she was not well versed on how to run a business. She didn’t know how to market the company or the financial management aspects of running a business. She had limited knowledge about the legal aspects of running a security business or the associated worker’s compensation laws. More recently, Bankhead faced challenges in ensuring her team members were safe and able to do their jobs during the pandemic.

The SBA has been a key partner for Bankhead as she grew her business. She has participated in various SBA programs including Emerging Leaders, ScaleUP, and is actively involved with the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center (an SBA resource partner). Bankhead is also part of the North Florida District Office 8(a) portfolio. Most recently she has leveraged the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has also participated in other community partner programs that have helped develop her business management.

EBS has been successful largely because Bankhead has been proactive in seeking assistance and using the resources available to her through SBA and its resource partner network. She has learned how to effectively run the business itself. The company has also grown considerably through its participation in the 8(a) Business Development Program. The firm is providing security at several federal sites as a prime vendor. EBS was most recently awarded a $2 million contract through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Bankhead has been able to utilize the PPP to keep her team of 18+ security officers employed during the pandemic at 3-sites. She continues to provide personal protective equipment, training, and other precautionary measures to keep her team safe.

Bankhead was recognized as the 2015 U.S. Small Business Administration State of Florida Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year. She has also received recognition through the Better Business Bureau in 2016 and 2017 for Ethics.

Company Name: 
EBS Security
Location: 
Jacksonville, Florida