Audubon County Business Owner Receives SBA Small Business Person of the Year Award
Ben Puck of Puck Custom Enterprises
March 30, 2017
In recognition of the small business community’s contributions to the American economy and society, the President of the United States designates one week each year as National Small Business Week. Scheduled for the week of April 30th of this year, Small Business Week 2017 will honor the more than 26 million small businesses in America. Since its establishment in 1963, the highlight of this annual tradition is the presentation of awards which focus on the outstanding contributions of small business persons and champions at the district, state and national levels. The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the following winners of its 2017 Iowa Small Business Week Awards.
Ben Puck of Puck Custom Enterprises in rural Audubon County was named Iowa Small Business Person of the Year.
Raised on a family farm in rural Iowa, Ben Puck intended to continue the family tradition of farming. In 1979, with the Farm Crisis looming, Puck sought out ways of bringing in some additional revenue. Along with his brother, he began pumping and hauling liquid manure for area farmers. Four years later, he began running the business solo. In 1998 Ben Puck Pumping had continued to grow and Puck incorporated the business as Puck Custom Enterprises. As Puck added additional manure services to his business, he realized there was room for improvement with regards to the equipment he was using and in 2005, PCE built its own hose cart for drag hose manure application. That piece of equipment received a U.S. Patent in 2009 (Puck has received four other equipment patents over the years for his inventions to improve manure application).
PCE’s drag hose service grew steadily over the years and in 2010, the company tapped the SBA’s 504 Fixed Asset Financing program to help finance a new building for equipment manufacturing and sales. Since then, PCE has used the SBA 504 program three additional times to help expand its facilities and purchase additional equipment. Today, PCE’s primary focus is designing, building and selling equipment for manure management. PCE employs over 50 full time employees and 10 part time employees in the town of Manning, population 1,480.
Puck and his company’s contributions to the community of Manning and Audubon County are significant. The growth of his business has fueled the type of employee growth that’s vital to rural communities like Manning. Aside from the economic impact he’s made, Puck supports local churches, schools, businesses, charities and other community organizations. Whether it’s through monetary contributions or contributions of time - such as taking a leadership role in the IKM-Manning School’s STEM program – Puck, his family and PCE have been invaluable to Manning’s efforts to remain a thriving rural community.