JACKSONVILLE, FL. – Carlton Smith, Vice President of Heavy Equipment Resources of Florida, Inc. (HERO FL) was recently named the SBA District, State, and Regional Small Business Exporter of the Year. The company is based out of Jacksonville, FL, and obtains 100% of its revenue from exporting equipment related to the construction and mining industries overseas to more than ten Countries.
HERO FL was co-founded by Carlton Smith and his father Leslie Smith in 2008 after they participated in an international trade certification program sponsored through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of North Florida. The SBDC is an SBA resource partner that provides technical assistance, counseling, and training to small businesses, and is partially funded through the SBA. For more information about programs and services available through the SBDC, visit www.flsbdc.com.
HERO FL has grown from a two person business to an international operation with employees located in the United States, and other countries such as Senegal, Zambia, Angola, and Cameroon. The company has also steadily increased sales from $526,000 in 2010 to $2.5 million in 2013. HERO FL currently exports to countries such as Senegal, Mali, Namibia, Botswana, Germany, Belize, Dominican Republic, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Congo.
The company exports to many developing countries, and subsequently faces challenges such as lack of access to technology that would help in delivering equipment to rural mines. The company has also encountered military coups in various regions where they export. HERO FL continues to work with local governments and searches for creative ways to deliver their goods to the end user.
Carlton Smith encourages other small businesses to export goods and services by volunteering his time through the SBDC training programs. He is often an invited guest speaker, and offers advice and counseling to other small business owners looking to grow their exporting business.
HERO FL was also selected as a 2013 recipient of the President’s “E” award, presented by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The “E” award was created in 1961 by Executive Order of the President to afford suitable recognition to persons, firms, or organizations which contribute significantly in the effort to increase United States exports.
For more information on HERO FL or Carlton Smith, visit www.herofl.com or contact the company through its mailing address at 1601 E. Duval Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202 or phone number (904) 358-3818.
For more information on SBA’s Programs and Services, please visit www.sba.gov.