Our forestry operations would not be possible without the support of over 400 harvesting and trucking business owners in our communities, many who employ fewer than 50 people. Small businesses drive our economy forward, and Steve Gosson has been partnered with J.D. Irving, Limited for nearly 10 years. As the owner of Gosson Enterprises in Saint John, New Brunswick, he and his drivers work round-the-clock to deliver woodchips consistently and with best practices in mind.
We took some time to sit down with Steve Gosson to talk about Maritimer priorities, how he’s passionate about the industry and his team, and how he loves being a small business owner!
Q: How did you get started in the trucking industry?
My father had a garbage disposal business and so I learned to drive young. I didn’t know anything else. Because I grew up in it, it instilled a family value in me that I carry on to my business.
Q: Tell us about Gosson Enterprises Limited.
I started in 2012 with one chip truck, after spending many years in the trucking business with other companies. We were always in the top 10 of 50 trucks across J.D. Irving, Limited, and so we were able to add a second truck in 2015, and a third in 2020.
We have nine drivers in total, including myself, and we keep our units going 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Our drivers have been with us for a long time, and we have minimal turnover. One has been with us eight years, and most of the rest have been with us six or seven years.
Q: What would you say is important to your business?
It’s very important to us to know what the driver needs. Without the driver and our community, small businesses wouldn’t last. And since our business employs nine people, that’s nine families that depend on us. It goes both ways. Any issues with family, it’s not a question of “What do I need to do?”; they just park and go.
We have had five guys that went out west, but wanted to work here, and that was a big reason that they came on with me. It’s common for people to want to come back to be with their families. There’s a huge family focus, and my business is run with a big family focus. I’d never ask them to do something I wouldn’t do myself. The business comes after their needs.
We run a tight ship, as far as regulations go. There’s no gray area: it’s black and white. It has to be done right, and we make sure it is. Even if something isn’t affecting the operation of the vehicle, I’ll go meet them at 2 in the morning to change a lightbulb. It’s something that takes two minutes, but it makes them realize I care.
Q: Are you happy with the progression you’ve made and where Gosson Enterprises Limited stands today?
One hundred percent, I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s been a fantastic journey for me. It’s a breath of fresh air to be your own boss, and to help others around you.
Q: What does small business mean to you?
Small businesses drive the economy and we really support the community around us. People know us and come to us if there’s a charity drive or donation needed. They know they can depend on us. And we support other small businesses, from tire shops to service shops, the detailer, the cleaning services… these are all small businesses that depend on one another. I find a really good connection with people, and I like to see every day that I’m supporting families and the community. I can see the impact I have.
We give out gloves and coffee mugs to our drivers, and we use our merchandise to give back to the community as well. People will reach out and say someone is having an auction, or fundraiser, and I’ll grab a tote bag of things and give it to them. Small businesses impact the individual.