Metro East SBDC at SIUE Celebrates One-Year Anniversary and Growth of Client Arch Equipment Group
The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is proud to celebrate the one-year anniversary and growth of its client Arch Equipment Group (AEG) LLC. Owner and President Lisa McQuade has worked with the SBDC and Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May since December 2019 to successfully build a fleet sales and service company.
AEG is a proud, woman-owned business providing professional, comprehensive management solutions for the entire lifecycle of a customer’s fleet equipment. Their work involves consulting, administration assistance and various fleet services, including selling and servicing heavy-duty trucks, and providing customization to install accessories such as safety items, light kits, required graphics and other mounted equipment.
McQuade is no stranger to this business. Her father was a heavy-duty diesel mechanic with his own shop. She recalls getting a commercial driver’s license at a young age, as well as taking a high school mechanic’s class to be able to help her father. After pursuing a different career path, she found herself supervising the fleet department for another company. At that point, she knew this was something she wanted to do on her own.
Her passion continued to evolve, and Arch Equipment Group officially opened in September 2019.
Like many businesses during this time, Arch Equipment Group has faced its share of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having only been open for a few short months, the state of Illinois Stay-at-Home order last spring made it difficult to get the business going. It affected marketing and networking opportunities, such as canceled truck shows and business events, and halted the employee hiring process.
Despite the difficulties, McQuade is grateful to be on the upswing now.
DiMaggio May provided McQuade assistance with a business plan, Small Business Association loan preparation, Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certification, marketing research and networking.
“Jo Ann has been a great sounding board, especially regarding our challenges with COVID,” McQuade shared. “She has always been available to talk me through any difficulties and provide a multitude of assistance along the way.”
“Lisa is always willing to learn and ask questions,” DiMaggio May says. “She is a strong business woman with a sound business plan. I am happy to have offered help when needed and look forward to Arch Equipment Group’s future success.”
McQuade is especially proud to be a WBE certified business. This has provided a wide variety of educational and networking opportunities, business information, and financial assistance she has found extremely beneficial.
“WBE Certification is important to my customers, and having it has given us an edge over the competition,” McQuade said. “It has presented numerous opportunities that we otherwise may not have had.”
McQuade is grateful for the relationships AEG has built with its customers and is proud that their customers are highly satisfied with their work.
“Building trust with customers is a huge plus for us, as we strive to be a trusted partner for the industries that never sleep, and where days off are not an option,” McQuade shared.
McQuade strives to maintain a workplace where her mechanics receive the credit and respect they deserve, know they are appreciated and feel as if they are making a difference. She plans on growing AEG by adding implement sales and affiliating with additional heavy duty/medium duty/light duty truck up-fitters.
The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East assists start-up ventures like Arch Equipment Group as well as existing businesses headquartered in the nine-county region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE as a service to Illinois small businesses.
By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the Metro East by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining new jobs and encouraging new investment. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.
To learn about the SBDC, contact the IL SBDC for the Metro East at SIUE at 618-650-2929.
Photo: Arch Equipment Group LLC Owner Lisa McQuade (courtesy Shaina Rae).