We are excited to share that on Tuesday, March 14, SBA Administrator Guzman announced 52 Small Business Persons of the Year from each state, Washington D.C and Puerto Rico. Wisconsin’s winners are Steven, Peggi, & Chuck Potter of the Superior-based Arctic Compressor, LLC. This Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) client is an incredible incredible innovator that continues to impress nationally.
“Our 2023 State Small Business Persons of the Year have given their all to achieve their American dream — to own and build a strong, resilient business; create jobs; increase competition and innovation and power America’s historic economic recovery,” said Administrator Guzman.
“Making something people want includes building a company people want to work for, and Arctic Compressor has done just that. Small businesses create work life that is so important to communities. It is truly inspiring to see clients like Steve and his team be recognized,” Wisconsin SBDC State Director Bon Wikenheiser.
For more than 36 years, the people of Arctic Compressor have honed the necessary skills to produce and manufacture high-quality air compressors that consistently exceed customer expectations. They have built trust and relationships through their proven track record and focus on community. This second generation, family-owned business leans on their years of experience and expertise to constantly pursue growth to keep current with their changing industry.
In 2016, Arctic Compressor/Northshore Compressor started to work with the SBDC at UW-Superior and SCORE in refining their business model to cultivate, expand and grow as an organization. This partnership, that still meets monthly, helped develop an actionable growth plan that has allowed for immense success. When this partnership started, Arctic Compressor had 12 employees and has now grown to 28, along with being on the cusp of a move to a new facility.
“One of the most rewarding features of working with Arctic for the last five years is their ability to lay out their strategic roadmap and follow it in order to make informed decisions,” said Andy Donahue, SBDC at UW-Superior Director. “This ability has led them to grow their team and location at a substantial pace, leveraging new resources and connections. Arctic has become one of the area’s leading businesses with the ability to continue their growth for years to come.”
“Andy was extremely helpful in budget analysis. His suggestions led us to many funding opportunities and his knowledge of local professionals helped us find other resources like an attorney and an accountant,” Steven Potter said
Arctic’s diligent planning and close connection to essential services helped them navigate the COVID-19 pandemic successfully. They changed their methods of communication to virtual meetings and telephone interactions since on-site training and maintenance was not allowed. From 2019 to 2021, this business more than doubled their sales and profit, showcasing their resilience during the most tumultuous small business economy in generations.
Arctic has also obtained an SBIR/STTR Assistance Micro-grant from CTC to pursue variations of SBIR funding. They are in contact with CTC as they explore avenues of non-dilutive funding.
“It’s great to see Arctic Compressor get this award and recognition for their innovative company and products,” said Todd Strother, CTC senior technology consultant “We’ve seen and helped them explore new opportunities and look forward to their continued growth and success.”
All 52 winners will be recognized on Sunday, April 30 and Monday, May 1 during the National Small Business Week awards ceremony in Washington, D.C where one will be announced as the 2023 National Small Business Person of the Year.