Last year brought about many changes, but for Dominique Walker, starting his own trucking company in the middle of a pandemic was life-changing. Walker always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and while working as a supply chain director at a local factory, he was simultaneously pursuing an associatie’s degree in business management so he could follow that dream. Walker’s job as supply chain director allowed him to work directly in transportation and see the daily ins and outs of that world. He knew right then, that was the business for him.
Walker took a big leap at the beginning of 2020 and started researching steps to open his own trucking company; step number one was obtaining his LLC. Then, COVID hit and he found himself taking his foot off the gas. At the beginning of the pandemic, he wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen to the trucking industry, but it was soon very obvious that the trucking industry would remain essential to providing much-needed supplies during the country’s time of need. “I realized everyone needed a truck to get things across the United States,” Walker said. “Getting things like masks and safety glasses – people were relying on trucks to get it to them.”
After realizing the essential need for the trucking industry , Walker knew it was time to strike, but he needed finances and additional equipment to help him get his business up and running. Immediately roadblocks began popping up, “Because I was so new, I couldn’t get any financial support from banks or lenders and I hadn’t established any type of history in the lending world at all,” Walker said. That’s when Walker applied for Kinetic’s Black Business Support Fund (BBSF) grant and was then selected as a recipient to help his business during COVID-19.
“Just to be selected boosted my spirits,” Walker added. “I was almost to the place of throwing in the towel for applying for grants or loans after being rejected so many times.” The Kinetic grant came at just the right time for Walker, as one of his trailers had some damage and he didn’t know where the funds were going to come from to fix it. “That grant was right on time. It happened at a time when I was in a critical need of funding.”
Walker’s business is continually growing, and thanks to Kinetic high-speed internet, he can stay connected and book even more loads. “Access to the internet is essential, it’s what I use to communicate with brokers to land loads,” Walker said. “I have to have reliable Wi-Fi to email brokers and access the load board from my cellphone or laptop.”
Dom’s Trucking was Walker’s dream. He has a piece of advice to any person that has an idea in the back of their mind or a goal they want to achieve – “Don’t let fear of failure be the reason you don’t make an attempt at it. I look at where I am now and the mentality I had when I first signed up for school. Just being scared of failure delayed me by 10 years before I finally realized there was nothing to be scared of.”
Kinetic is proud to support Black-owned businesses like Dom’s Trucking and many others. The BBSF has helped Black-owned businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by donating more than $125,000 in grants.
If you're a Black-owned business in located in Kinetic’s service area of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, North Carolina or New York, click here to see if you qualify and apply. Stay tuned this month for more highlights from our BBSF awardees as we celebrate Black Business Month.