The White House Business Council invited small business owners and entrepreneurs from across the country to a forum we hosted with Business Forward earlier this month. While they were here, we spoke to some of the people we met about the secrets of their success, and found out how the American Jobs Act will enable them to grow even more quickly in 2012.
Aaron Tennant, who owns Tennant Truck Lines, Inc., says passing the American Jobs Act will create jobs in his company. “Cutting the payroll tax in half and creating a payroll tax holiday for 2012 are very powerful and will help my decision to hire. Most employees don’t understand the additional cost we incur to provide jobs. We can use this windfall to invest back into the business, in our case means investing in additional trucks which require drivers and support staff."
Tennant Trucking Lines, Inc. is a third generation industry leader that had a deceptively modest beginning. In 1946, Sydney Tennant started “hauling swine on a milk run” from rural Iowa and Illinois to Chicago, according to his son, Bob Tennant. With the help of his supportive family, Tennant turned his dream of creating a profitable trucking company that provided jobs for hardworking folks in the rural Midwest into a thriving business. Today that business is run by Aaron Tennant, Bob’s son and Sydney’s grandson, who continues to execute his grandfather’s vision of success.
Tennant Trucking Lines (TTL) is an open-deck carrier, meaning they transport machinery, agricultural and construction equipment via flatbed, step deck, and specialized equipment. Tennant still services the Midwest, but has also expanded to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the country. “We have full terminals currently located in Moline, Illinois; Augusta, Georgia; and Baltimore, Maryland,” says Aaron Tennant. “We have drop yards in Grand Island, Nebraska, and Valley City, North Dakota, as well as drop trailers at many customer locations around the country.”
Tennant recently announced plans to move out of his grandfather’s farmhouse in Orion, IL and open a new terminal. “There is shy of 30 of us in there…the former living room is crowded with nine people and their work station, and other employees fill other rooms.” Currently, TTL employs 141 people and as Tennant continues purchasing new trucks, he will hire an additional 30 drivers and office staff. This boss credits his employees for his company’s continued growth. “Keeping your employees motivated and happy is a key to success.”