WEDA Success Stories
WEDA Success Stories
430 S Adams St
Laramie, WY 82070
Category: 2016 Success Stories
SBDC helps auto shop secure facility
Jerrold Thwreatt was at crossroads.
He had worked as the lead mechanic at Mike Repair’s, an auto repair shop in Laramie, for 21 years. When the owner retired, Jerrold bought the owner’s tools and decided to create his own business at the same location. Automotive Unlimited LLC was opened on January 1, 2013.
In 2014, the owner of the building that houses Automotive Unlimited decided to sell the building and associated property due to a family illness. So Jerrold was faced with a choice: Either purchase the property for about $250,000 or risk closing the business altogether.
“I started trying to find money,” he said. “We starting trying to get loans from anybody and everybody we could.”
As part of his search, Jerrold contacted the Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network. Jim Drever, SBDC’s regional director for Albany and Carbon counties, helped Jerrold determine what financing options might be available and helped him prepare loan application paperwork. In conjunction with the SBDC’s Market Research Center, Jim also helped Jerrold develop a business plan that demonstrated the venture’s feasibility with the debt load required to purchase the business.
“Jim came in and did anything he could to help us,” Jerrold said.
Their combined efforts paid off. With support from his stepfather, Jerrold was able to secure a business loan through First Interstate Bank and buy the building in January 2015.
At this stage, Jerrold is essentially a one-man operation. “I’m the only one turning wrenches,” he said, although his wife helps with computer-related tasks.
Jerrold would like to expand, although he said finding help in Laramie is difficult. However, since acquiring the loan, he has been able to use repair bays previously not available and to purchase new equipment.
Automotive Unlimited is located at 430 S. Adams St. in Laramie. Jerrold offers a variety of automotive services ranging from oil changes to engine replacements.
“I've had experience with two other shops in town but no one gives you the service nor prices that Jerrold does,” one online reviewer wrote on Yelp. “Had my car in and out in one day with three repairs done and came in under the estimated price. I will be recommending them to everyone I know.”