Homegrown venture among Hillsborough County’s many small business

Urban E Recycling’s meteoric rise from a two-person garage operation to a business now grossing $2.6-million annually with three locations and 22 employees is an example of the success small businesses can attain with solid planning, wise decisions, hard work, and some luck.

Hillsborough County’s Board of County Commissioners recently lauded the local company as it recognized national Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30. The Board encourages everyone to support small businesses on that day and throughout the year.

Wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday calls attention to such commercial ventures, which constitute more than 90 percent of businesses in Hillsborough County.

When Greg and Dell Rabinowitz launched their electronics recycling business in 2012, they each had specific skills and life experience. They learned other critical facets of operating a business, at no cost, at Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County.

“I knew scrap. She knew marketing. SBDC helped with the rest. It’s been a godsend,” Greg says. A professional consultant at Hillsborough County’s Entrepreneur Collaborative Center in Ybor City helped the couple solidify their business plan, and work through myriad other considerations.

Urban E Recycling picks up old or broken electronics ranging from computers to hairdryers, shreds or otherwise dismantles them, and sells the remaining metals and other materials. Any personal information on electronics such as hard drives is destroyed. Individuals and businesses that provide the electronics are not charged for the disposal/pickup service.

The company’s mission, along with being profitable, is to keep all the stuff it gathers out of landfills. Its tongue-in-cheek slogan: Mother Nature doesn’t want your old electronics… But WE DO!

Top photo: Greg and Dell Rabinowitz started their business seven years ago in a garage. It now grosses $2.6 million annually.

Urban E Shredding