A Pembroke-based company, Savannah Global Solutions (SGS), with roots in the forestry equipment business, has been named the 2014 “Exporter of the Year” by the Georgia Small Business Administration (SBA). SGS was among a group of 10 winners in various categories from throughout the state.
Owners of SGS, Mark and Trudy Sauer, recently accepted the award from Terri Denison, the SBA’s Georgia District Director, at the National Small Business Week awards luncheon in Atlanta. “National Small Business Week is an occasion to collectively celebrate the successes of small businesses,” said Denison. “We welcome the opportunity to bring this celebration to Georgia in honoring small businesses and their champions from around the state.”
Mark Sauer’s days in small business date back to the late 1990s when he was looking for an opportunity in the Savannah area that ultimately led him to a forestry equipment company. That opportunity eventually morphed into SGS, which he and Trudy established in 2005.
The company has been able to expand internationally to countries like Brazil by leveraging state and federal resources to
include: the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the U.S. Department of Commerce in Savannah, and the Georgia Small Business Development Center International Trade Center.
“By 2005, we knew that the U.S. market would not make a quick recovery. But in other countries, forestry was changing. Individual farms that had not used sophisticated equipment were being purchased by companies with big buying power who were willing to invest in new, more efficient technology to increase their returns. It changed the nature of our opportunity,” Sauer said.
SGS relocated to Pembroke from Savannah in 2012. The company has doubled its employment since expanding. SGS also leases space in its new facility to CZM, a Brazilian company.
Pembroke’s Mayor Mary Warnell was thrilled to learn SGS had been recognized by Georgia’s SBA. “When SGS and CZM relocated to Pembroke in 2012, we were delighted to have them join our community. Both companies have had a tremendous positive impact on our local economy. We are excited to celebrate with SGS and offer our congratulations for being named Exporter of the Year, she said.
SGS’ location in Pembroke’s Dixie Harn Industrial Park has been a boost for the area. SGS and CZM combined employ approximately 50 people in Pembroke.
“On behalf of the DABC, it is my pleasure to congratulate SGS on the great honor they have been bestowed from Georgia’s SBA. We are proud to have them in Bryan County, and we look forward to working with them for many years to come as they continue to grow their business,” said Steve Croy, chairman of the Development Authority of Bryan County.