Jerry's Repair: A Successful Dakota Business Lending 504 Borrower
Jul 5, 2017
Auto repair was more than just a day job for Jerry Frye. As an ASE Master Certified Mechanic with 30+ years of experience, Jerry’s skillset is very broad; it includes wheel alignments, brake service, shocks & struts, A/C work, electrical work, oil changes, and much more. With skills like that, it was only a matter of time before he decided, with his wife, Alison, to open his own repair and maintenance shop in their community.
“We saw a need in Minot for a good, honest, competitively priced, quality auto repair shop and it’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time and just never had the opportunity to get it done. One thing led to another, we found a location, we were able to make the financing work, and here we are,” Jerry said with a shrug and a smile.
To help finance the equipment that was needed to get started, Jerry’s Repair and Alignment utilized the Small Business Administration 504 loan program while working in conjunction with Dacotah Community Bank and Dakota Certified Development Corporation (now Dakota Business Lending). “We just felt that it was a great program for us to use,” said Alison. “Without it, we probably wouldn’t have been able to get started.”
This program provided a loan with fixed, below-market interest rates that allowed them to purchase equipment as they continued to build and prepare for opening.
“We had a great experience with Dakota CDC (now Dakota Business Lending). They were great to work with and very knowledgeable; they guided us through and made us feel comfortable. It was excellent.” -Alison
While providing many different maintenance and repair services, one of the primary focuses of Jerry’s new business is to provide these services with high quality workmanship and honesty. “He wanted to help people,” Alison explained. “He wanted to have a place where people could come and be comfortable and know they’re going to get quality, honest work.” Jerry’s overall goal was to become the family auto mechanic that Minot needed.
According to Jerry, personal and high-quality service is what makes Jerry’s Repair and Alignment unique. “I visit with customers when they come in, I do the repair work myself, I visit with them when they pick it up, I make sure that everything is good. It’s just a one-person place.”
Making people happy is one of both Jerry and Alison’s favorite part of owning their own business. “When a customer brings their vehicle in and the repairs they have done are not as costly as they expected, there’s something exciting about that,” Jerry expressed. Alison couldn’t help but to add:
“It’s great to make people happy and know that you’re the one doing that.”
Both Alison and Jerry agreed that although starting, opening, or expanding your business isn’t easy, it’s well worth it. “There’s a lot of work involved. There’s a lot of little behind-the-scenes things that you don’t realize until once you get started,” warned Jerry. “Looking at the dollars needed to get started is very scary. It has worked well, we have no regrets, and we are very pleased with how things have been going throughout the last year.”
With their one year anniversary of business approaching later this summer, Jerry and Alison are glad they decided to take that risk and open Jerry’s Repair and Alignment. As they thrive in the industry, Jerry continues to work towards providing quality customer service to his customers and making them leave with a smile. Their customer base has steadily increased throughout the year and they look forward to what the future has to hold.
As they celebrate their successes, Jerry and Alison have just one thing to say:
“If it’s your dream, you have got to go for it. Don’t wait. Give it a shot. It’s well-gratifying once you get it going.”