Snow storms this year were actually a good thing for Bernie’s Auto Repair in Blackwood, N.J. because he can quickly activate a team of tow trucks to rescue stranded vehicles.
The other thing that keeps them busy is responding to police calls when cars are impounded. This growing shop has eight employees who are auto mechanics or towing personnel.
Ironically, Owner Bernie Wilson, is a former police officer who had to retire due to an injury but when asked which career he has enjoyed most, he says, “being a father.” He has three daughters and a son.
Online reviewers report this is an “honest repair shop, a straight shooter,” and Wilson says they also appreciate his business is a one-stop shop for any needs—from major repairs to state inspections.
He opened his current shop in Blackwood in 2004 when he found a garage building at a good price. He found Madison Capital about seven years ago on the Internet after a search for capital resources to upgrade his fleet of vocational vehicles.
“I called a few others, but the people at Madison seemed more personable. Their rates were competitive, but price was not necessarily the deciding factor. Customer service is what matters. That goes a long way,” he said.
He had some dealings with his bank. He said, “they used to call us and encourage us to apply for loans and when we did, they wanted us to jump through hoops.”
The Madison transaction to acquire tow trucks was established as a lease purchase agreement with a dollar buyout at the end. This came at a time when Wilson said they were expanding from just doing customer towing to servicing the police towing needs.
“I just want to keep growing and with growth you need more equipment, and Madison has always been there for us, Wilson added.
Nancy Pistorio, president of Madison Capital, says she appreciates that Wilson has referred other customers to Madison and said she believes what small but growing companies like Bernie’s Auto Repair really appreciate is “that we will listen to their stories.”