The U.S. Small Business Administration selected Schaumburg's Quality Float Works Inc. as Illinois' Small Business Exporter of the Year.
Each year, SBA's Illinois District Office honors small businesses and small business advocates for contributions to Illinois' economy and society. Applicants compete in their respective categories among other small business entrepreneurs and small business champions throughout SBA's Region V area which included Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Quality Float Works, Inc. was selected over numerous entries as this year's winner due to their outstanding success and international growth.
Led by third and fourth generation entrepreneurs, CEO Sandra Westlund-Deenihan and her son, President Jason Speer, Quality Float Works is globally engaged and has grown sales by 200 percent over the past 10 years due to developing a technological innovation that has allowed them to compete in the international marketplace.
Currently, Quality Float Works exports to locations including Canada, Belgium, China, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, Singapore, Vietnam and several locations throughout the United Kingdom, Latin America, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Nigeria. The company will be expanding in the Middle East, South Korea and Africa in 2013.
In 2011, the company launched a new distribution center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to serve its growing international customer base. They will also be working with fellow U.S. manufacturers to sell related products through their new distribution center and has acquired a 30 percent stake in a Russian trade company that will also utilize the new distribution center to get its products to market.
"I am honored to receive this award recognizing our efforts in expanding our exporting practices," Speer said. "We moved into the international marketplace to manufacture our unique products on a competitive basis. Free-Trade Agreements have allowed us to bring our small footprint to a global audience. We are continually looking to further expand our operations abroad to reach new customers in new markets who can benefit from having access to our American manufactured products."