A mainstay of Martin, South Dakota's, local business sector, Bair's Automotive Store, is scheduled to reopen on Monday, March 19, 2018 after a temporary closure for remodel work to be complete. After 50-plus years, ownership of the business has officially transferred to Scott Bair from his father, Richard Bair. Richard had owned the business as Bair Ford since 1965.
Although Scott started working at the family business over 30 years ago - first as an auto detailer and then moving up to sales manager - he is pleased to have the opportunity to lead the business into a new era and keep serving the community.
He says, "I'm an automotive man - a car guy. I hated to think of the town and community - my customers - not having someone to take care of their automotive needs."
Under new ownership, the business will focus on selling quality pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs while still offering parts and vehicle service from their certified technicians. Scott would eventually like to expand the business even further to offer trailers and tires so that people don't have to travel so far out of town to meet those needs.
He says, "I see endless opportunities to help our customers."
There weren't endless opportunities when it came time to find a lender though. Accessing the capital necessary to purchase the business, upgrade the facility, and build up inventory, was made possible by Lakota Funds.
"I can't thank Lakota Funds enough - for trusting and believing in my plan," says Scott.
He especially appreciates how our staff continued to work with him as he refined his business plan. "They worked with me to get things where they needed to be."
We were especially excited to deploy this loan, because we knew it would mean our community tribal members would have access to good quality used vehicles. And, our valued partner, Lakota Federal Credit Union will hopefully be able to partner with Bair's Automotive to offer favorable rates to finance vehicle purchases.
With the capital in place, Scott is "excited to keep helping people and to still be here for my customers." He says, "The thing I enjoy the most about the automotive business is that I've met so many good people. So many customers have become lifelong friends."
Scott encourages community members to stop in for a visit and see the fresh new look of Bair's Automotive. Who knows? You might even make a lifelong friend.