Local Veteran-owned Business Moves in on Government Contracts
TAC Commercial Moving, LLC of Pinellas County
Vietnam service-disabled Army veteran, Tom Camera, has spent the past 28 years growing his small business to the point where it is now solid competition for larger companies.
“We’re looking to be bigger, but remain small; that is where we want to be,” Camera said. “Success has always been a mainstay and customer service has always been the highest point that we have. We have repeat customers – continually large companies, small companies, and government companies with the county – and we’ve been able to be successful and continue those relationships and build new ones.”
TAC Commercial Moving, LLC is a company relocation, reconfiguration and storage service provider in Clearwater that has also recently expanded to include corporate interior design and furniture sales.
Years ago, Camera turned to the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) located at the Florida SBDC at Pinellas County office, when searching for new ways to market his company to several government entities. There he met Yolanda Goodloe, a procurement specialist who explained to him the importance of becoming Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned certified in order to get a leg up against the competition.
“Mrs. Goodloe has been with us all along the way,” Camera explained. “She showed us where the opportunities were and what we needed to do to register for them. [Her help] is probably one of the biggest reasons why we’re still so successful. Those opportunities that we did not know about came through PTAC, specifically through Yolanda.”
Camera’s partner, Tim Horton agreed, “Yolanda gives us a lot of good contacts and a lot of good information to help us grow. If it wasn’t for her and the resources of PTAC, I don’t think we’d have an opportunity to grow.”
The pair said that other than helping them become certified, one of the most helpful things Goodloe has assisted the company with is their Capability Statement. They submitted their original statement to Goodloe and she offered advice on how to make it more refined and direct, giving it more impact. “That allowed us to turn around and formulate a really good, solid capability statement,” Camera said.
With the help of Goodloe and the Florida PTAC team, TAC Commercial has registered with the state of Florida as a Veteran-Owned Small Business and is constantly on the search for new government contracts.
“Any of the formal registrations that we’ve had were really challenging for us because we’re business operators. We don’t do the administrative support,” Camera said. “It was really hard to navigate with the number of programs available to find our niche. Help from PTAC and Yolanda allowed us to see where those opportunities are and to get involved with them and gain from them.”
TAC Commercial has been able to secure private and government contracts with Bloomin’ Brands, Hillsborough County Real Estate, Hillsborough County Clerk, Pinellas County Health Department and the University of South Florida, to name a few, since working with Goodloe.
“These are really large operational areas, but we are integral to what we do,” Camera said. “Working with these large organizations can be very demanding, but we’re always up to the task. When we do have a problem or we have something that comes up administratively, then we filter back to PTAC and ask for that support from Yolanda.”
Though they have secured multiple large contracts and have expanded their business model over the past few years, they see their biggest success to be a little more internal.
“I think our biggest success is that we’ve acquired some really great employees and I think that’s just phenomenal,” Horton said. “Because these days, I think it’s hard to find. We wouldn’t be successful if we didn’t have them.”
Camera agreed, “He’s right on. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do and run the business and proceed with TAC if it wasn’t for a partner like Tim and wasn’t for the on-site expertise and help from all of the employees. I believe they would be successful in other places on their own, but together we’re special.”