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Small Business Builds Big Reputation with SBA Government Contracting Certifications

Situation

  • U.S. Marine Corps veteran Frank Harris is a decision-maker.  Starting with his military service, in which he was assigned to military transport and artillery, Harris found his niche as a heavy equipment operator. After leaving the service, he continued working in the field, rising quickly to supervisory positions.

 

  • Harris is also a risk-taker and in 2009, he saw an opportunity to start Columbus-based small business, John Cecil Construction. Named in honor of his brother, Harris started building a reputation for quality workmanship.

SBA Resources

  • Working with SBA business opportunity specialists, Harris quickly became certified as an 8(a), veteran-owned and HUBZone federal contractor.

 

  • He also entered into the SBA All Small Mentor Protégé program, a joint venture initiative that allows new contractors to learn from small businesses that have had successful experience in federal procurement. Harris states that the partnership was invaluable, as his mentor helped him network and deal with issues like bonding and insurance.

 

  • “My mentor showed me how to manage my money and structure contracting jobs so that I could have financial stability and working capital,” he said.  

Impact

  • Located in a HUBZone, Harris has brought revitalization to the area, generating 15 local positions that include estimators, project managers and construction workers.

 

  • He and his team have successfully fulfilled major contracts with the Department of Homeland Security, Defense Logistics Agency and others.

 

  •  With a reputation for excellence, Harris has this advice for entrepreneurs: “Start small and go slowly. Don’t rush into a job and don’t be afraid to say no to a job that you may not have the capacity to perform and deliver a quality product.”
Company Name: 
John Cecil Construction
Location: 
Columbus, Ohio