Client: Hernandez family, owners of Automotive Specialists of Dalton
Client Location: Dalton, GA
CDFI: Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs and Appalachian Community Capital
CDFI Service Area: AL, GA, KY, MD, MS, NY, NC, OH, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV
Small business financing
Automotive Specialists of Dalton, an auto repair services shop nestled in the heart of Dalton, Georgia, has been a trusted partner to the community since its inception in 2012. A true embodiment of a family-owned and operated business, the Hernandez family, led by Emma Hernandez along with her son Hernan and daughter Diana, have consistently delivered specialized and reliable auto repair services to the community they hold dear.
The shop’s dedication to excellence and its skilled mechanics, who boast expertise across a diverse range of vehicles, have been pivotal in establishing its remarkable success. Since its establishment, Automotive Specialists of Dalton has garnered unwavering support and appreciation from its loyal clientele.
Using funds awarded by an Appalachian Community Capital (ACC) and Truist Foundation grant, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) has played a pivotal role in furthering the success story of Automotive Specialists of Dalton. The Hernandez family turned to ACE in 2021 with the prospect of owning the building that housed their shop.
With the funding, the business received a reduced interest rate and partial payment forgiveness through ACE’s Covid relief program. This provided essential support, enabling the business to secure a strong foothold on its property and shift from rental expenses to property equity. Funding from ACC enabled ACE to provide $75,000 in subgrants to 30 of the most vulnerable businesses in the Appalachian region.
Through ACC and ACE’s partnership, Automotive Specialists of Dalton not only weathered challenges but also witnessed a revitalization of its prospects. The ACC-Truist Foundation grant supported diverse businesses in the region and also empowered businesses like Automotive Specialists of Dalton to purchase its property, providing long-term sustainability and growth of a cherished community institution.
A testament to the shop’s profound impact on the lives it touches, one of the auto repair shop’s customers, Caroline, shared her heartfelt experience: “I can’t thank Automotive Specialists of Dalton for treating me like their own family when I was in quite the pickle on Friday, March 10, 2023.”
Caroline’s story underscores the shop’s unwavering commitment to its community, showcasing the spirit of support and dedication that defines Automotive Specialists of Dalton.
Automotive Specialists of Dalton stands as a shining example of entrepreneurship and community-driven collaboration, fueled by the support of ACE and its partners.
Photo: Diana Madero Hernandez, co-owner of Automotive Specialists of Dalton
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