Valerie and Melvin Scroggins run a growing small business that also is the consumer’s interface with huge Federal Express.

Valerie Scroggins, whose father ran a small business, started delivery service MVS in 2008, after her husband lost his job as a Northwest Airlines mechanic.

The business, a local delivery service for FedEx, started out with five employees and a couple of trucks. It has grown to 25 employees and a fleet of 27 of the ubiquitous FedEx white trucks.

Last fall, Valerie Scroggins was one of three winners of the Mid-American FedEx Entrepreneur of the Year awards. She was chosen out of a national pool of more than 7,500 small businesses that provide local pickup and delivery services for FedEx Ground operations.

“Business is great and growing,” said Valerie Scroggins, adding that revenue grew 12 percent last year and is expected to grow by 15 to 20 percent this year. “We have a great relationship with FedEx. We pretty much cover the south metro area. We employ the workers and own the trucks and a school to train the drivers. We are not franchisees, but independent businesspeople with a FedEx contract. They let you run your business.

“FedEx pays us based on the number of packages and stops, and a combination of other things, including mileage. FedEx would like us to expand. But we’re good right now.”

Valerie, 42, and Melvin, 50, recently acquired her father’s longtime BP service station on 54th Street and Lyndale Avenue S.

Valerie Scroggins and five other independent businesses that serve FedEx have been featured in national ads in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.

She declined to discuss company revenue. FedEx says revenue for these small businesses ranges from around $500,000 annually to more than $8 million, depending upon the territory, number of employees and trucks.

“UPS, Amazon and FedEx … eventually will go from six- to seven-day-a-week service,” Valerie Scroggins said. “I can see that within five years. Everyone wants their package in one to two days. E-commerce is exploding. The more people buy and shop online, the more our business grows. More people shop online and fewer seem to be going to stores.”

80 teams reach Round 2 of MN Cup competition

The MN Cup has advanced 80 teams of Minnesota-based entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators to the second round of the 2016 competition. In its 12th year, the MN Cup is giving away a record $402,000 in seed money.

The semifinalists include Activated Research Co., an alternative energy company financed by retired Proto Labs CEO Brad Cleveland, and Arc Suppression Technologies, which just raised about $1 million to further its promising business that drastically cuts down the need to replace expensive electrical relay switches.

More women-owned companies than ever were among the 616 entrants. The semifinalists included female-owned Bolton Bees in the Twin Cities, Far North Spirits of Kittson County and Farmhouse Market of Le Sueur County.

“Every year, our state has reaped the benefits of entrepreneurial innovation thanks to the business visionaries who participate in and support the competition,” says Cup co-founder Scott Litman. “There are … a record number of entrant teams, a new youth division, and the largest prize total ever.”

The semifinalists represent a wide variety of emerging businesses, entrepreneurs and investors in clean technology, food, science and nonprofits.

On Sept. 22, the winners will be announced at the University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center. More at: www.carlsonschool.umn.edu/mn-cup.

 

Neal St. Anthony has been a Star Tribune business columnist and reporter since 1984. He can be contacted at nstanthony@startribune.com.