Small business: Brown Tire & Automotive LLC
Location: Montgomery, Alabama
Loan match: SBA 7(a)
Financing hurdle: COVID-19 pandemic impacting staffing
One glance at Justin Brown’s online reviews and you know there is something special about his small business, Brown Tire & Automotive. His wife, Candice, certainly had a hand in that something as well. The themes that run through all these reviews are: speed, honesty, customer service.
This is no accident; Justin’s goal is to make all his customers feel comfortable with the business. Honesty is his number one value. He prides himself on never trying to sell a customer something they don’t need, and he strives to deliver the best prices possible for each service.
During his 20 years as an ASE certified mechanic, working on a wide range of makes and models, Justin has a reputation for his deep knowledge with Subaru vehicles. And in 2018, after moving his family and business from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery in search of better schools, some of his loyal customers followed him that 50 miles.
- To match service capacity to the growing demand in the Montgomery, Alabama area
- To capitalize on a customer base grown primarily through referrals, and that is expected to normalize as the pandemic becomes endemic
- To help his community stay safe by servicing their vehicles at a fair cost for quality work
The SBA lending challenge: Factors out of his control
When Justin moved his business to Montgomery, he struggled to find small business financing to build Brown Tire and Automotive.
And though the quality of his work and superior customer service continued to gain him traction in his new community, 2020 and 2021 threw a wrench in the works. As an essential business, Brown Tire & Automotive was able to stay open and operational during the pandemic. But many employees didn’t feel comfortable working, and as a result, Justin had to largely man the business by himself.
The story of the business’ history and the potential for its growth couldn’t easily be captured on paper given the current challenges it faced. Thankfully, Justin was finally able to connect with a representative from Ready Capital who could partner with him and give him an injection of capital to move his business where it was always meant to go.
Results with Ready Capital
Brown Tire & Automotive is now a tire and auto repair shop on the rise in the Montgomery area. Through his partnership with Ready Capital, Justin Brown:
- Received an initial SBA startup loan
- Was able to lease a location to run his business out of
- Is now positioned to grow his business despite the major speed bump of the Covid-19 pandemic