When J. Howard Fisk and his wife, Jan, founded J. Howard Fisk Limousine with a single Rolls Royce in 1976, they never could have imagined they would eventually be responsible for moving more than 1 million people a year in Springfield and the surrounding areas.
“It was a challenge to get up and moving, but we found new ways to serve the community and began adding cars,” Howard Fisk recalled.
Fisk Limousine caters to the business community, transporting executives and employees to and from the airport, meetings and training sessions as far away as Chicago. About 95 percent of the company’s revenues come from the business community, but Fisk Limousine also runs the Bear Line shuttle service for Missouri State University and provides transportation for special events such as birthdays, weddings and proms.
The largest recent event for the company was the April 16 Elton John concert at JQH Arena. John rode in a Fisk sport utility vehicle to the concert, and more than 100 of the performer’s fans rented cars and buses to travel to and from the event.
Though Fisk declined to disclose revenues, he acknowledged that the company’s revenues dipped between 2008 and 2009 and are now on an upswing.
“We’re starting to grow back, but I think it will take five years to get back to where we were,” he said.
Though the company’s fleet had grown to more than 100 vehicles, it has shrunk to 70, Fisk said. But due to attrition, he hasn’t had to lay off workers during the downturn.
Gas prices – for which the national average is up nearly 98 cents from April 2010, according to GasBuddy.com – are affecting Fisk Limousine, but Fisk said he hasn’t increased prices for local rentals, which start at $60 an hour. Read more about Small Business Week here.