Austin's Auto Service

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After eight years of working at Austin’s Auto Service, Nelson Tavarez, Jr. was faced with a decision. Austin Godshall, the owner of the business, fell ill and considered closing. Not only would closing impact the many existing customers, but there would also be a loss of five jobs in the City of Bethlehem, along with a vacant lot which could not easily be reused for anything other than auto repair. This potential impact was of great importance to the West End of the City.

Knowing he had the knowledge to run the business but not the finances to purchase it, Tavarez approached First Star Bank for financing to purchase the business and real estate. The bank and Tavarezthen turned to the Lehigh University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to discuss possible funding alternatives for the project.  Tavarez then identified potential lending programs available to facilitate the purchase and move the project forward. Working in conjunction with First Star Bank and the City of Bethlehem, the SBDC assisted Tavarez with his financial presentation package to the lending partners. The project of purchasing the business and real estate creatively pulled together a partnership of varied funding sources to leverage Tavarez’s equity participation, including an SBA loan through First Star Bank, seller financing, the City of Bethlehem, the Lehigh & Northampton Counties Revolving Loan Fund (LNCRLF), and the State of Pennsylvania’s minority loan program (PMBDA) through the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) and the Allentown Economic Development Corporation (AEDC). Without the combination of all these groups, the purchase would not have been possible. The culmination of these independent groups created a “perfect storm” of financial sorts that allowed Tavarez to finally realize his dream of entrepreneurship.

The Tavarezs, along with his parents, all came together in support of the purchase. Finally on October 13, 2011, after nearly ten months of planning, Nelson Tavarez became the proud owner of Austin’s Auto Service.

Austin’s Auto Service handles all types of mechanical repairs, air conditioning, tune ups, specialty diagnostics, state inspections, emissions and even towing services. They are open Monday through Saturday.  Stop in and see Tavarez and his ASE certified team located at 1843 West Broad Street in Bethlehem.