The challenge

Mercury Communications, Inc., a cellular tower manufacturer in Fenton, Mo., has been receiving assistance from the Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (TAAC) since June 2013 to improve training, marketing and advertising. The firm is certified as a Woman Business Enterprise and was started in the basement of one owner’s home. The company’s fortunes had soared building cellular towers during the tech boom of the early millennium, but nosedived when wireless communications companies halted construction after 9/11.

The solution

The firm was awarded $75,000 in Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) funding, which they matched to total $150,000 to implement the following strategic projects:

  • Design advertisements for trade shows to showcase a new tower design
  • Improve functionality of an online design tool to allow customers to design custom products

Results since program entry

  • Business revenue was $6.8 million when entering the TAAF program. Sales reached $8.5 million within two years.
  • The company had record sales and profits in 2015, adding 20 new employees in about a year.
  • The company has opened a separate division to manufacture the new pole, innocuous-looking enough to be disguised as a light pole, flag pole or telephone pole.