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Tuesday, 05 January 2016 17:54

North Carolina Awards Grant to Help Auto Tech

The city of Marion was awarded a $40,000 state grant to help Auto Tech Collision Center move into the old Marion Equipment site on Rutherford Road, expand its operations and hire four new employees.

In October, the Marion City Council approved the city applying for a state building reuse grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce on behalf of Auto Tech Collision Center, which plans to move from its current location in Nebo and take over the old Marion Equipment site.

On December 14, Gov. Pat McCrory, Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III and Assistant Secretary for Rural Economic Development Patricia Mitchell announced the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 15 grant requests totaling $3,039,244. The requests include commitments to create a total of 219 new jobs, according to a news release from the state.

The RIA approved a total of 10 grants under the state’s Building Reuse program, inclding the $40,000 grant for the relocation of Auto Tech .

"I am very excited for the opportunity that this grant creates for Auto Tech Collision Center,” said Mayor Steve Little. “This is one more example of how governments should operate to clear obstacles and allow a small business to grow and provide more jobs.”

Auto Tech Collision Center does various kinds of repair work for automobile bodies. This includes cars and trucks damaged in wrecks or from other kinds of damage, like hail. The employees work on antique cars, collision repairs and paint work. They fix shattered windows and install new glass. They also work on mechanical repairs that are related to collisions and frame repair too. The business is owned by David Hicks and Tanya Williams is the business manager.

Furthermore, Hertz will have a car rental business at that location, Hicks and Williams said in October.

Williams said she wanted to thank Steve Bush, executive director with the McDowell Chamber of Commerce, for bringing up the idea about the state grant in the first place. She hopes more local business owners can take advantage of this opportunity.

“Lots of people seem interested in how we heard about it and the steps it took, so possibly they may apply in the future I guess,” she said. “I also had never even read a grant application before, but I was able to complete the pre-application myself.”

We would like to thank The McDowell News for reprint permission.

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