SC Business Review’s Mike Switzer talks with Robert Suber, CEO of MGS, LLC in Columbia, SC about the company’s origins, and its work assisting countries across the globe – including in Latin America and Ukraine – with defense and security product import and export.
The company recently was named SBA South Carolina Exporter of the Year.
An interview with the CEO
SC Department of Commerce and MGS, LLC announce the company’s $3 million investment in Richland County.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Commerce and MGS, LLC announced Sept. 21 that the company plans to expand operations in Richland County with a $3 million investment that includes construction and the creation of 12 jobs.
“We are extremely grateful of the support received from our community and partners in the industry. We look forward to serving in our beloved state of South Carolina,” said MGS, LLC Chief Executive Officer Robert Suber.
Based in the United States, MGS is an international procurement and distribution company authorized to assists clients worldwide in the acquisition of law enforcement and military equipment and services. The company’s partners from industry-leading companies across the globe enable MGS to offer a wide range of products from law enforcement and security equipment to ammunition and weapon systems along with professional services such as training and logistical support.
The company’s expansion includes the construction of a facility at 213 Dawson Road in Columbia that will accommodate additional office and warehouse space, and increase the company’s ability to provide training. Construction is expected to be completed in April 2023.
State officials expressed appreciation for the company’s business contributions. “South Carolina’s proud military community has helped us to attract and grow businesses in our military sector, and this expansion by MGS, LLC is further proof of that. Congratulations to MGS, LLC on their expansion, and we thank them for their investment in the state,” Gov. Henry McMaster said.
Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III also noted the state’s long-standing relationship with the defense sector. “The military is integral to South Carolina’s economy, and MGS, LLC’s expansion will continue to support and grow this sector not only in Richland County, but across the state. We look forward to the opportunities that result from this investment.”
MGS also has a vibrant relationship with state and local law enforcement. “MGS, LLC is not only a long-standing employer in Richland County, but it has also been an essential partner to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department by providing equipment, facilities and training. Council supports MGS, LLC’s commitment to more than double its workforce over the next few years and is happy to help facilitate this company’s growth,” said Richland County Council Chair Overture Walker.
Interested individuals may view and apply online for available positions https://www.mgsuber.com/careers/
Defense industry exporter MGS, LLC has been extended a major SBA capital line of credit to accelerate its market reach and services.
MGS LLC, a respected trading partner with global defense and law-enforcement industry heavyweights for two decades, has qualified for a multimillion-dollar line of credit through the U.S. Small Business Administration and South Carolina Small Business Center to further enhance the company’s capabilities and services.
A minority-owned business based in Columbia, MGS assists government clients in the acquisition of military, security and law-enforcement equipment and services. The company has grown into a multimillion-dollar international operation, with clients in more than 20 countries, including the U.S. government, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Argentina. With a wealth of expertise, a reliable network and impeccable credentials, the company has earned a stellar reputation with the people it serves.
With a keen understanding of the company’s potential, CEO Robert Suber set out to expand the company’s ability to ease financing constraints for both partners and clients. Fluent in multiple languages and highly skilled in international firearms sector risk assessment, Suber has more than 30 years of forward-thinking management experience and global expertise in operations, business development, sales, banking and contracting. Reaching out to the SBA and South Carolina’s Small Business Development Center, Suber was introduced to senior business consultant Beth Smith.
With her extensive knowledge of exporting regulations, network of industry experts and her experience in Central and South American distribution, Smith had a clear understanding of the need to specifically address cash flow in international operations, as well as what solutions were available.
“After learning about Robert’s business objectives and aspirations, I suggested he take advantage of the SBA’s Export Working Capital Program,” Smith said. “The program is ideally suited for small exporting businesses like his that are often denied working capital advances from conventional U.S. banks.”
Smith worked with the company’s team to navigate the application process, from detailing the export business plan to creating a process training manual and advertising plan. Last October, Smith and Suber learned that their hard work had paid off: Regions Bank approved a $5 million loan for MGS LLC.
“This line of credit will enable Robert to cover the typical 45-day ‘float’ period—the time gap between when Robert has to purchase goods from a manufacturer and when he receives payments from his customers abroad,” Smith said. “Recent developments have presented Robert with the opportunity to expand the countries to which he exports,” Smith said, noting that the 6- to 12-month outlook for the exporter is promising.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has named MGS, LLC as South Carolina’s Exporter of the Year for 2022.
MGS, LLC was recently honored as part of the 2022 South Carolina National Small Business Week Awards.
The core business of the Columbia, SC-based company is supplying defense and security equipment and services for international government and commercial sector where permitted. A minority-owned business, MGS assists government clients in the acquisition of military, security and law-enforcement equipment and services.
CEO Robert G. Suber expressed appreciation for the recognition. “We are extremely grateful for this high honor, and the assistance the SBA has so often provided.” Suber also praised his team, saying their work has been instrumental in making the company successful. “Support from MGS’ manufacturing and supply partners is world class,” he added.
The company has expanded in the UK as MGS International Ltd., and last year qualified for a substantial line of credit through the U.S. Small Business Administration and South Carolina Small Business Center, further enhancing the company’s capabilities and services.
After more than two decades in the business, MGS has evolved into a multimillion-dollar international operation, with clients in more than 50 countries, including U.S. government and state agencies.
MGS, LLC is building new headquarters in Columbia, SC, to expand their capabilities for product demonstrations, training and storage.
Recently named U.S. SBA Exporter of the Year for South Carolina, MGS, LLC has grown from a small partnership to more than dozen employees in six countries. A branch office in London, MGS International, Ltd. opened last year.
The continued growth has meant closer quarters for the MGS team at their Forest Acres offices. With the industry outlook on a positive trajectory, the company opted to invest in a multi-million dollar construction project. “The need for warehouse space and a shooting range for product demonstration and training made this the right choice,” said CEO and founder Robert G. Suber.
The construction project marks a new chapter in the award-winning company’s three decades in the defense and security industry. Assisting government clients in the acquisition of security, police and military equipment, the company also provides strategic marketing and sales services to manufacturers seeking to expand globally. It’s partners includes both industry heavyweights and innovative entrepreneurs across the globe and it serves clients in more than sixty countries.
“This project takes us into a new level. We will be able to better serve our suppliers and clients,” said CEO and founder Robert G. Suber.
DW Warren Construction Co is providing construction management services with design by Seed Architects. Construction on two acres in Columbia is underway and expected to conclude by spring 2023. MGS is looking to move operations next year.
“We’ve been very fortunate.” Suber said. “South Carolina is a great place to do business. We’re extremely pleased to be taking this step.”
©2023 MGS, LLC