If there’s one positive to be taken from the pandemic caused by COVID-19 it’s that people across the country are starting to understand the importance of supporting local businesses and community supply-chain networks. Such decisions not only help sustain the local economy, but there are also residual benefits for businesses that decide to spend their money supporting other local retailers.
“I’m locally born and raised, so I like to support local manufacturers as much as possible,” said Vince Klimkosz, owner of the two locations of Vinnie’s Mr. Fix-It in Guelph. “We like to give back to the community, whether that’s buying from local suppliers or supporting a sports team that needs a donation. Anything we can do to give back.”
For Vinnie’s Mr. Fix-It, giving back includes using local manufacturers like Ideal Brake Parts, and supporting local sports teams with sponsorship dollars.
“We like the fact that Ideal Brake Parts are made right here in Guelph,” said Klimkosz. “One thing they did was they didn’t slow down production during the pandemic at all, which help kept the local workforce working. As for helping keep kids active, I’m on the Optimist Club and fall fair board committee and the rec committee in the town of Puslinch. A lot of those teams have extra expenses like insurance costs. It’s nice to be able to provide an opportunity for kids to get outside and be active.”
With many people holding off making major purchases until there is more stability in the economy, many repair shops have experienced a surge in business from customers looking to repair and service their current vehicles. That’s certainly been the case at Vinnie’s Mr. Fix-It, one of the largest independently owned repair shops in the area with a combined 11 service bays.
“It’s been one of those weird years,” said Vince, whose bays service a wide range of cars, vans, trucks, cube vans, trailers and commercial vehicles. “There are a lot of people that either got laid off or got their hours cut back, so they aren’t able to consider leasing or buying a new vehicle, so they’ve decided to repair the one they have. We’ve been very busy repairing and keeping people’s vehicles on the road.”
Another way Vinnie’s Mr. Fit-It helps keep the local community rolling is by offering a unique financing option for people who be struggling but still need a vehicle, tires or repairs.
“We do have financing here, and it’s super easy for customers that need it. There are no credit checks and no income verification. The vehicle is used as collateral. It’s all on our website, along with an extensive used tire inventory. Everything we have in stock new and used is all on the site.”
With winter less than two months away and many customers thinking of service, the owner suggests that customers avoid procrastinating when it comes to preventative maintenance and switching to winter tires.
“It’s always good to think early,” said Vince “Get them on in October if you can. When it snows, everyone’s going to be behind. Snow never comes at the right time. We have financing for snow tires and rims and on-site storage for your regular tires. That’s an added bonus at Vinnie’s Mr. Fix-It.”
For more information, or to book your winter service, visit Vinnie’s Mr. Fix-It online at vinniesmrfixit.com. Or drop by either of their two Guelph locations: 30 Hayes Avenue, or 41 Woodlawn Road West.