A local business has been named one of the best in the country by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Endoscopy Replacement Parts Inc. of Newberry was named “Small Business Exporter of the Year” as part of National Small Business Week, an annual event to recognize the best small businesses in the nation.
The award will be presented Monday at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. to David Peter Bello, Sr., ERP’s founder and CEO; David Anthony Bello, Jr., vice president and general manager; and John Hartnett, vice president of global business development.
Hartnett said it is both humbling and exciting to receive the award.
“We’re really taken aback to be considered best in the nation,” he said. “We did not expect it.”
Founded in 1997, ERP manufactures aftermarket parts for rigid and flexible endoscopes, which are medical devices commonly used to detect problems in certain organs such as the digestive tract and are used to find stomach bleeding, ulcers and colon cancer.
The company grew by word of mouth and now sells about 2,000 products in about 70 countries around the world including Germany, Thailand and Brazil. In 2014, ERP began working with different organizations to develop an export marketing plan, drawing some attention to the company’s success.
“[Bello Sr.] pretty much pioneered the industry,” David Anthony Bello, Jr. said. “Before, people were trying to repair endoscopes by buying other endoscopes and then cannibalizing the parts off of them.”
Prior to being named Small Business Exporter of the Year, ERP first won district, state and regional competitions. In the past six months it was also named the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce’s Manufacturer of the Year and the Newberry-Jonesville Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year.
Wilfredo J. Gonzalez, North Florida district director of the administration, said in a press release the district was proud to be represented this year.
“This win is important to our district because it shows the state of Florida is at the forefront of international trade,” he said.
Hartnett said the national recognition is expected to open more doors for growth and opportunity, as it will be a marketing tool to attract more revenue and clientele.
“The federal government — United States — goes and says that we’re number one?” he said. “I think everyone should take notice.”