Auto repair shop business slowed, but never stopped, by pandemic

Posted at 12:57 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 18:44:45-05

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown everyone for a loop. Everything has been disrupted this year. As part of The Rebound Kentucky, LEX 18 wants to help you with tips to make ends meet, help charities in need, and manage the pressures that everyone is facing.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Some of the few businesses that stayed open during the shutdown were auto repair shops. But during the height of restrictions, even those show owners were feeling the pinch since fewer cars were on the roads.

When LEX 18 visited JD's Auto Repair in Frankfort at the end of March, the number of customers had slowed to a crawl, and the co-owners said survival was "day-by-day."

But during the shutdown, there was just enough business to stay open.

"And we've got loyal customers that continue to come back and come back and come back," said Melissa Dean, co-owner of the shop.

Nine months after the commonwealth slowed to a crawl, JD's is still open. Now, there's enough traffic to operate five days a week.

Three of the four employees are now back at work. Instead of greeting customers inside a small office, Melissa and Jamie Dean meet them out front for safety reasons.

The area around the shop is also different because of the ongoing construction on Second Street.

"But our customers, we have found out, will find a way to get to us if they need us," said Melissa Dean.

Dean credits those loyal customers with keeping the doors open. But recently, the virus that has hindered their business has affected one of them.

Dean says a truck stayed in the shop for more than a week after work was finished. After making phone calls, they discovered that the truck's owner was hospitalized with COVID-19.

"We delivered his vehicle to his house for him, dropped it off for him. Payment we'll worry about later. You know, get through this and then we'll talk to you," said Dean.

From business to customer: rebounding is a two-way street to recovery.