With just a used 1985 box truck and credit card with a $2000 credit limit, Michael Miqueli took a leap of faith and started a trucking company that serviced produce importers, providing fast, reliable, and quality transportation.
Today, Miqueli the owner of San Antonio Broker Services, Inc., a North Bergen-based transportation company that provides its customers with port, rail and over the road container transport services throughout the Mid-Atlantic States was named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2015 New Jersey Small Business Person of the Year.
Miqueli, a Cuban-American will be recognized at the SBA’s Annual Small Business Week Awards Reception hosted by the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, at the State Museum in Trenton on Thursday May 7. SBA’s New Jersey District Director Al Titone said Miqueli was nominated for the award by First Niagara Bank and was selected for the award based on criteria that include: Staying Power (a substantial history of an established business); Growth in Number of Employees; Increase in Sales; Financial Strength of the Company; Innovativeness of Product or Service Offered; Response to Adversity and Contributions to Aid Community Oriented Projects.
Under Miqueli’s direction, San Antonio Brokers Services has grown from a few dedicated employees to over 65 full-time workers. The company now has a fleet of over 45 trucks and temperature controlled trailers which continue to grow. “With our roots in produce and refrigerated cargo, we’ve expanded through hard work, our customers trust and word of mouth. We now handle a wide array of customers and their transportation needs,” said Miqueli. “We provide container drayage from the ports of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Delaware, and service private carriers at the rail yards of New Jersey and Philadelphia.”
By 2011, more opportunities were becoming available to the company. “Growing the company organically was taking too long, opportunities were being lost,” said Miqueli. “I knew that we had the structure in place to grow this business and could achieve more. We put together a business model that set a growth path for our company. I needed to find the right financing to be able to accomplish this task. It would be the only way we would be able to add more trucks and employees.”
The need for finance was put on hold when Hurricane Sandy hit the New Jersey ports in 2012. “The ports were so devastated with damage that they just could not open,” said Miqueli. “Despite the adversity and losing three weeks of business, we didn’t lay off any employees and came out of the disaster that much stronger. If anything that storm made us dig down deeper and look for other avenues to generate income”.
In 2013, when Miqueli wanted to take his business to the next level by expanding the company’s fleet, he learned about the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Guaranteed Loan program. With three SBA-backed loans from First Niagara Bank in excess of $1 million, the company has grown from $2 million in annual sales to $8 million.
“National Small Business Week (May 4-8) gives us the opportunity to recognize the outstanding achievements of small business owners like Michael Miqueli,” said Titone. “He started with very little, worked hard, took risks and dared to dream big, that’s what successful small business owners do.”
According to Titone, Michael Miqueli is one of six finalists being considered for the National Small Business Person of the Year Award. He will be honored and recognized at a White House Ceremony on Friday May 8th where the national winner will be announced by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.
In 2014, San Antonio Broker Services, Inc. was ranked 3506 in the Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 fastest growing private companies in America. He is also active in his community through his involvement with organizations like The Jose Marti Student Aid Fund, Toys for Tots, Saint Jude’s Children, Covenant House, Operation Smile and Memorial High School Fund (Project Graduation).
Miqueli is also a member of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, the Business Owners Council (Inc. Magazine) The Hispanic Mercantile Federation, Eastern Produce Council and the Bi State Truckers Association.Related Articles: