By Karen Stokes
Pastor Aaron Robbins and his wife, Dr Laci Coppins Robbins, New Company, A&A Services and Transportation, was conceived during a family table discussion, Thanksgiving 2019.
âWe were trying to make decisions about what our next businesses were going to be because we’ve both had businesses in the past and we’re also from entrepreneurial families,â said Coppins Robbins.
The other commercial businesses of the Robbins family are the Compel Family Life Center, a Pentecostal church, which the pastors of Robbins have, and Robbins Nest Consulting, the consulting firm of Coppins Robbins.
âThe conversation turned to logistics and transportation and we thought we could totally do it,â said Coppins Robbins. “So the research began and on May 12, 2020, we officially registered our incorporation and launched A&A Transportation.”
A&A Transportation is named after the children of the Robbins, Ariana and AJ The Robbins were thinking of the legacy they could leave for their families.
All the planning took place in the midst of the pandemic. A time when many businesses struggled and some failed.
A man of faith, Robbins said, âI don’t operate on world concepts, I believe in the kingdom of God. I believe in faith and wherever God leads me, this is where I lead.
Months later, they were the proud owners of A&A Transportation with five trucks.
To start the business, they were helped by the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation (CDC). The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) awarded the Northwest Side CDC a $ 500,000 capacity building grant in 2019 to help create a revolving loan fund and also helped the group with an entrepreneurship support grant. of $ 60,000 this year.
âThe Northwest Side Community Development Corporation (CDC) was instrumental in helping us secure funding. So we worked on the business plan and worked with the Small Business Administration (SBA),â said Coppins Robbins. âThe SBA and the Northwest Side CDC were almost like a partnership triad.â
A&A is more than a business for the Robbins, it is also a ministry.
âIt was about creating a legacy for our children and jobs for our community,â said Coppins Robbins. “Everything is a ministry for us.”
âSo what A&A has been looking to do is open up an opportunity for those who might be able to find a job,â Robbins said. âWe want to be able to help people find stable employment. It has been difficult in our community because people are overwhelmed with grief, pain and rejection.
Robbins continued, âDriving a CDL earns you a substantial income to take care of yourself and your family. We do our best to give individuals an opportunity. “
âWe’re still hiring, because when it comes to trucking and logistics is it’s the trucks and the people,â said Coppins Robbins. âWe have sprinter vans and semi-trailers, the type of vehicles that specialize in the Class A CDL license for this position. We are still recruiting CDL Class-A drivers. You can visit aatransporting.com or call 414-581-7620. We will be happy to answer all your questions about vacancies. “
Logistics and trucking were things the Robbins had no direct experience with. They learned from research, mentors and observations.
âWe learned very early [that] the trucking is very white and you don’t see a lot of diversity, âsaid Coppins Robbins. âThis is another situation where we can be an example, that if you want something, you can. You can own your own fleet. “
According to the US Census Bureau 2017 American Community Survey, only 6.9% of drivers / vendors and truck drivers were female and only 15% were black.
A solid piece of advice that Coppins Robbins shared was âStay consistent. The difference between you and the successful person is that they are consistent. Often times, people miss out on the next opportunity and give up when it’s about to happen. You have to give yourself time to be consistent to see ultimate success. “
Looking ahead, Robbins said, âI can see A&A Transportation not just in Milwaukee County, but all over the state of Wisconsin, maybe from coast to coast. We don’t believe that we should be united at the borders when serving the God I serve. It is not just a business, but a legacy that I can pass on to my children to bring to our community and we can be a blessing to the world.