Each year, SBA’s Illinois District Office honors outstanding small businesses for excellence in a variety of areas.The Jeffrey Butland SBA Illinois Family-Owned Business Award is presented to an outstanding family-owned small business that exemplifies the dedication and team spirit of America’s family-owned small businesses.
This year’s awardee, M & S Implement Company of Harrisburg has provided Southeast Illinois with high-quality products and services to meet customer needs for over 50 years.
Founded in Carmi in 1959 by Mr. Max Apple, today, M & S sells and services nearly a dozen brands of lawn and garden, earth-moving and agricultural implements. In 1964, M & S expanded to include a second location in Equality and Max’s son Roger joined the business in 1976. Fourteen years later, Roger’s wife Donna joined the business as an accountant after earning her degree at SIU-Carbondale in 1980.
By 2003, M & S was ready to expand again. With the help of the Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Illinois College M & S developed a plan to expand into a more visible location in Harrisburg, and in 2004 M & S opened the doors on a new 14,000 square foot showroom, service center and adjoining 6,000 square foot storage building. The investment paid off as M & S’s total sales have tripled in the decade since the move.
Around the same time as the grand opening of the new facility, Roger and Donna’s sons, Aaron and Austin, began working at M & S, and in 2013, Aaron, Austin and Donna purchased interests in the business when founder, Max Apple, sold his shares to them before he passed away in 2014.
Donna, her son Austin and daughter-in-law Lyndsi were on hand in Chicago to accept this year’s Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Business Award from SBA Illinois District Director Bo Steiner in front of the assembled guests from around the Chicagoland and Illinois business community.
Roger and Donna Apple note their love for the business and their hope that their grandchildren, a new generation of Apples, will someday join them in this model of a successful family-owned business here in Illinois.
Source: Daily Register