Prestige Machine and Tools of Pinellas County
Industrial machinery is nothing new to mechanical engineer and business school attendee Andre Bonato. Since 15-years-old, he has been in touch with engineering and tooling equipment whether through welding, machining or the assembly line. He has always had a passion for manufacturing.
Bonato acquired Prestige Machine and Tools in 2011 and started operating a year later in 2012. ”This company had been running for about 25 years. We took over Prestige Machine five years ago. Through the years we’ve tried to change our concept business, innovating equipment, innovating software and also making sure the company is much more capable for different types of industries,” he said.
Originally from the Chicago area, making the move to Florida was no easy task. “When we moved to Florida we didn’t know where to start to find help,” Bonato said.
He soon sought out the Florida SBDC at Pinellas County for a full business analysis on the industry as well as information on grants and training. “SBDC provided us with a lot of services. First of all, technical questions about state rules and laws but also they helped us with guidance in our business through Florida, Largo, Pinellas; the whole area,” he said.
Bonato is now seeing the results of his hard work. Soon he will be moving his business to a bigger site due to the increasing growth of his company.
“My most recent success is the acquisition of our new plant that we will be building for our industry, it’s also good we have good, new customers that give us the support to do that,” Bonato said.
Prestige Machine and Tools now has nine employees and Bonato sees no slowing down as he works with his consultant, Yolanda Cowart.
“You never try to reinvent the wheel,” Bonato said. “SBDC is one of the good things that you can look at to help guide you through the process from a start-up, and not only that, but to continue the success of your business.
“Yolanda specifically helped us through everything. Even with our business moving to Largo they still give us support with different customers, different perspectives of the business, they’re still giving us advice wherever it’s required. Yolanda is always there to help us. She is still giving us support today and this is what is helping us move forward.”