The Northwest Wisconsin Business Development Corporation (NWBDC) and the Northwest Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission’s (NWRPC) Small Business Administration (SBA) Microloan Fund assisted Justin Lawrence with his ownership goals of purchasing Wolverine Tire and Auto in Spooner, Wisconsin.
Wolverine Tire & Auto Care of Spooner, WI was established in 1929. Neil Wienbergen purchased the business in 1998 and firmly established Wolverine as the primary place for tires, alignment, and related mechanical services in the Spooner area. Lawrence had been an employee of Wolverine for nearly a decade, and had worked his way into a lead tech position, along with bookkeeper and managerial duties.
“I have always been entrepreneurial by nature and have built my business acumen as I became very familiar with the Wolverine Tire client base, the business operation and vendor relations, so purchasing the business only made sense in my mind,” Lawrence said.
Selling a business that has been established in the community and has strong brand recognition is never a small feat; however, with NWRPC’s business development staff, led by Rick Roeser, aided Wienbergen and Lawrence to structure a deal that made sense for all the parties involved, including a traditional lender, NWBDC and NWRPC.
“I knew taking over a business was an undertaking in itself; however, trying to coordinate the financial layers was a feat of its own right. I’m glad NWRPC was there from start to finish, walking us all through the process,” Lawrence added. The purchase took about a year from concept to closing, and the knowledge and abilities provided by NWRPC proved invaluable as the torch was passed from Weinberger to Lawrence.
To see if your business would qualify for a startup, transition or expansion loan product at NWRPC, contact loan fund manager Ken Pearson at (715) 635-2197.