Earl Washington from Jackson, Mississippi, owns U.S. Coating Specialties & Supplies, Inc., which specializes in cleaning supplies, and commercial and industrial equipment for hospitals, schools, and other government agencies. U.S. Coatings has been in business for over forty years.

Earl has always been a hard worker; before starting U.S. Coating Specialties & Supplies, Inc., he worked as a truck driver for many years. In 1977, he decided to go into business for himself and opened U.S. Coating as a janitorial supply company. Through the years, he has witnessed many changes in the world and changes in customers’ needs. His business started to advance. He added waxing and coating to his list of services. Coating grew so fast that it became a big part of his business.

“Business changes every five years, and I must keep up with the changes.” Earl shared.

Earl Washington with Glenda Johnson and Dr. Marnell Love
Earl Washington, CEO U.S. Coating Specialties & Supplies, Inc., poses with Communities Unlimited's Glenda Johnson and Dr. Marnell Love

Mr. Washington has learned what works well and what does not for his customers in Jackson, Mississippi and beyond. He explained that to see his company evolve, he has to meet the demand of his customers. To do this, he often needs to add more products and services. U.S. Coating Specialties and Supplies, Inc. has recently started getting into storm shelters.

Due to the age of his building, Earl knew that he would need to replace the roof and ceiling and purchase new inventory for his growing business. Adding more products and clients means more cash flow, which means money on the front end. That’s when he started looking for a Mississippi small business loan.

“I need more funds to promote growth and move forward,” Earl explained. Earl knew that he wanted his business to continue to succeed, so he met with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to talk about getting a loan for his business. The small business administration referred him to Communities Unlimited (CU).

Earl Washington on what his goals are after 46 years in business

Earl started working on his Mississippi small business loan with CU’s Senior Economic Development Officer, Debra Williams. During this process, Debra introduced Earl to the Entrepreneurship Team. Earl worked with Senior Management Consultants Marnell Love and Dale Rutherford. “They all had a great attitude. Everyone at CU was superb.”  Earl shared.

“We reviewed his request and considered possible CU partners to provide the desired financing, and we discussed possible changes to the business financials and changes in the business’s rates to assure profitability.”

— Dr. Marnell Love, Senior Management Consultant at Communities Unlimited

Marnell Love

Earl said he has a philosophy of why he has stayed in business for so long and sums it up in four steps: Have a good attitude, meet the customer’s expectations, know yourself, and correct things with the customer.

“I love what I do, but one day it will end. If I focus now and do what is right while I can, others can see it, and I’m still alive.” Earl concluded.