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Owner of Overnight Success awarded substantial grant

Samuel Gilmore focusing on company’s future

Ashley Montgomery | 2/6/2014, 9 a.m.
Samuel Gilmore, his wife and son being presented with the check from Chase Business Banking executive Carlos Alzate; Nabila Mucharafie (far left) and Jackie Gutierrez (far right from the Chase branch team. Maribel Ferrer

Chase and Google recently presented 12 small businesses with $3 million in grants along with a trip to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. 

Among those 12 recipients is a man of great wisdom that goes by the name, Samuel Gilmore, Jr.

Twenty-one years ago, a former Air Force pilot who was born and raised in Miami started the company Overnight Success, a construction and supply company. Gilmore’s primary reason was to create jobs for the Black community here in Miami. 

Chase and Google say that nearly 35,000 small businesses from all over the nation applied for a Mission Main Street Grant and a trip to Google. Upon winning, the 12 small businesses — including Overnight Success — got over 1.7 million people to show their support for the participants by voting. Applications that received at least 250 votes then proceeded to the judging phase. 

A panel of experts then hand-chose Overnight Success among others to receive $250,000 in grant money to help expand these innovative companies and help them find more creative approaches to new heights through their Mission Main Street grant. 

In the past two decades, Gilmore has demonstrated above and beyond success for the Black community. 

“My contracting firm has hired more than 500 people, paying these workers $15 million in payroll,” Gilmore said. 

Gilmore says that he likes to refer to his company as a “clean-up crew” so to speak. He credits its success to how he and his five other employees run a tight ship — “kind of like a military format.”  

“Overnight Success, became this company that acted as a stepping stone, by putting people back out into the community — some of them go to county jobs or some of them even join my private sector,” Gilmore said. 

Gilmore thanks his parents for his passion for helping others pursue their dreams. 

“That is something that I got from my parents, I was raised that way,” Gilmore says. “My father always says something like, ‘by helping other people, you help yourself’, as time goes on it becomes a better area for myself,” Gilmore explained. 

Blessing in disguise 

Gilmore and his wife have been seriously debating parting ways with Miami for one huge reason. As it seems, winning this trip and heading to Google to learn new marketing tactics will help teach him how to expand his company. 

Gilmore says the the culture of Miami-Dade county is one that looks out for their own. 

“Being a small business, I might not get the lowest price because I don’t have the volume another company may have,” Gilmore said. 

Gilmore is growing frustrated at being on the outskirts of the “culture,” he says, “because I’m a Black business in Miami-Dade County, I might not get the best price because I’m not the right culture.” 

This is something Gilmore sees as a reoccurring issue and plans to use his grant money to purchase equipment to compete for contracts — like the billion dollar Miami-Dade Sewer and Water expansion project that is coming up. 

Gilmore and his company is looking forward to implementing the $250K to get rid of some of the encumbers that have been in place since the start. This grant will allow Overnight Success to be more competitive with those included in the “culture.”   

Chase and Google’s generosity 

Google is an American multinational corporation that specializes in internet-related services and products. Gilmore is looking forward to visiting the headquarters to learn more about getting bids in other parts of the nation. 

“We know how important a successful web presence is for any company, and we’re excited to host the chosen business to discuss ways that they can market themselves in today’s digital age,” Jon Kaplan, vice president of U.S. sales and operations of Google Inc. said. 

“This year’s winners prove that with hard work and determination, there are still many success stories to be told,” David Chavern, U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer said.