West Virginia Exporting Company Utilizes SBA to Start and Grow their Small Business

Situation

American Muscle Docks & Fabrication is a fabricator, builder, and supplier of floating & stationary-built boat docks, dock hardware, and aluminum gangways.

Their story started in 1963 when Paul J. Diserio established a metal stamping business, Valley Manufacturing Incorporated in Wellsburg, WV. The business started out of necessity because Diserio lost his job when the company he was working for was sold to their competitor and all operations were shut down.

After working and building the company for nearly 25 years, Diserio passed down the business to his son Paul R. Diserio in 1987. At that time, metal fabrication was added to the business and became the focus of the company in order to capture larger jobs.  In 1999 Valley Manufacturing landed a large contract and became the sole metal fabricator for Follansbee Dock Systems. Follansbee was considered an international market leader in manufacturing floating dock systems and components.

In 2012 Follansbee announced their intent to sell the business. This announcement placed Valley in a difficult position because manufacturing for Follansbee had become over 70 percent of Valley’s business.

Solution

Diserio, his wife, and two sons Luke and Kurt, decided to go in together and start their own dock manufacturing company, naming it American Muscle Docks and Fabrication, LLC (AMD).

The West Virginia Small Business Development Center, a U.S. Small Business Administration resource partner, connected them with Chase Bank in Wheeling, WV, which provided them with a $250,000 SBA-guaranteed line of credit loan.

Impact

With the help of the U.S. Small Business Administration, AMD is now exporting to over 11 countries and reported $3.7 in gross revenue in 2017. 

AMD continues to utilize SBA services through the STEP export grant by participating in U.S. Commercial Service Trade Missions. Through funding they received from the STEP grant, they attended a mission trip to Central American where they successfully negotiated a $500,000 deal with the Nicaraguan Port Authority to build docks for cruise ships. This project in itself increased the number of AMD employees by five.

AMD holds the title of the 2018 WV Small Business Exporter of the Year.

Company Name: 
American Muscle Docks & Fabrication
Location: 
Wellsburg, WV