Another business has benefited from a regional business loan fund through Lewis & Clark Development Group.
This time it is Lincoln Repair, based between Bismarck and Lincoln, which was able to purchase land to open a new location in Mandan.
Lincoln Repair joins an expanding list of small businesses that have benefited from LCD Group’s regional business loan programs.
In this case, it was the IRP Mandan Fund, managed by Lewis & Clark Regional Development Council (RDC) to assist small businesses locate in Mandan.
The fund, created in collaboration with the City of Mandan, is managed by Lewis & Clark RDC, which is part of LCD Group.
A collaborative lending process
LCD Group Commercial Lending Director Matt Burthold said the loan package for Lincoln Repair was born from a collaborative process involving BNC National Bank of Mandan and the Bank of North Dakota.
“Lewis and Clark RDC worked to put together a package that included traditional financing through Lincoln Repair’s commercial lender and financing from the IRP Mandan Fund, which served as the local match for the Flex PACE Interest Buydown through the Bank of North Dakota,” says Burthold.
“That may sound complicated to some but it is not complicated at all. This was textbook example of how our regional business loan programs typically work,” adds Burthold.
Rapid business growth over five years
Lincoln Repair’s owner Josh Gendron started in college as an automotive technician in 2007. After graduating from college, Gendron continued to work as a high level technician for a local auto dealer but, through it all, he thought about opening his own auto repair business.
“I was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug a long time ago. From our first days together, Meghan, my wife, told me she always knew I’d eventually own a small business,” Gendron said.
Meghan’s hunch was proven right when Gendron opened Lincoln Repair in March 2018. At the time Gendron was the business’ sole employee serving a steady but growing roster of clients. Five years later, Lincoln Repair has two locations, employs 26 professionals, including two independent contractors, and services between 600 and 700 vehicles a month.
“On average, we serve 6,000 to 7,000 clients each year. We serviced 680 vehicles in June,” notes Gendron who says business is booming.
Lincoln Repair specializes in restoring vehicles, from engines to electronics and everything in between, back to the way they were when they rolled off the factory floor. Whenever possible, Lincoln Repair uses parts directly from the automakers.
“We do everything but the body work and we proudly stand behind our work,” says Gendron. “Typically, most dealerships offer a one-year warranty. We always offer a three-year or 36,000 mile warranty to every client we serve.”
‘They gave me the confidence to do it’
A few years ago, the increasing number of clients from Mandan, prompted Gendron to look at opening a second location. He reached out to the City of Mandan where he worked Andrew Stromme, Mandan city planner, on available locations. Ellen Huber, who was then the city’s economic development director, introduced Gendron to Lewis & Clark Development Group and the IRP Mandan Fund.
“The City of Mandan was very helpful. They educated me on my options. I can’t thank them enough for working with me,” adds Gendron.
Through LCD Group, Gendron was able to secure financing through the IRP Mandan program.
“Matt Burthold made it all happen. He put everything together with my lender. It was a painless process working with Lewis and Clark Development Group. They gave me the confidence to do it,” say Gendron.
A few months since opening Lincoln Repair’s eight-bay facility at 4221 Old Red Trail, Gendron is being asked if he’s thinking of opening other locations.
For him, it’s all about pacing and striking a work-life balance for him and his employees.
“My wife is my rock and our daughters are everything,” notes Gendron. “The business is going great and we have earned the loyalty of our clients and the trust of their referrals. We’ll continue doing what we love and if other opportunities present themselves, we will look at them then.”
If and when Lincoln Repair expands again, LCD Group will be there to help Gendron in every way possible.