Celebrating National Small Business Week

National Small Business WeekThis week is National Small Business Week, celebrating the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises to the American economy.

Buffalo Wire Works, located in downtown Buffalo, New York, manufactures and supplies wire cloth, plate, and screening media and accessories. It has 120 employees and is looking to expand to approximately 170 in the near future, continuing its investment in the Buffalo community. According to CEO Joe Abramo, “Buffalo Wire Works is booming in the inner city, and is willing to invest to support additional growth!” Buffalo Wire Works has a very strong presence in Latin America and Mr. Abramo notes that, “Who we sell to is so diverse because it is not just one industry. We sell to a variety of different industries and have a diverse customer base.”

Farther south, Maximus Coffee Group, located in Houston, Texas is a local staple in the community—and not just because of its dependency on caffeine. Founded in 2006, Maximus Coffee Group is one-half of the de Aldecoa family business, the other half being Cadeco Industries. While Cadeco Industries processes over one million pounds of coffee each day, Maximus Coffee Group is an integrated roasting, decaffeination, soluble and packaging facility.

Maximus Coffee Group and Cadeco Industries have been well positioned to lead the US in coffee production and maintain Houston’s role a coffee center. Part of its success is due to its roughly 375 employees, with additional external support roles filled by vendors and suppliers. When asked whether the passage and implementation of free trade agreements has allowed Maximus Coffee Group to expand, Executive Vice President Leo Vasquez responded that “The more global markets are opened on an even basis, the more jobs are created here in the United States.”

Taking advantage of Houston’s port has been critical to the company’s success, allowing it to export and import millions of pounds of coffee worldwide each year. Maximus Coffee Group exports to Canada, Mexico, Indonesia, Eastern Europe, Spain, Malaysia, and Korea, allowing them to build a good working relationship with the Houston Port, as well as government officials supportive of the local and state business climate.

Commenting on USTR’s recent successes, Mr. Vasquez said, “Even though we are considered a small to mid-size business, we’re playing in the global industry. Our plant in Houston is one of the largest and most diverse coffee plants in the world. We are directly affected by tariffs and taxes around the world. It is a big help to have USTR looking out for us. USTR’s efforts can directly benefit us, the U.S. entrepreneurial company, as well as the bigger corporate players.”