Since 2015, the people of Warm Springs have another community member they can rely on for car maintenance. Trained mechanic Gordon Scott, with the help of his flatbed trailer and other repair equipment purchased through his IDA, can tow vehicles back to the owner’s house or to his property, where he charges competitive rates for his work. Gordon notes, “The people that I can help are so thankful that someone can come to their house and fix their car right there as opposed to having it towed, or having to take it to Madras. In the end it saves them money, and it puts a little more money in my pocket, so I’m happy with that.”
Gordon’s business, tailored to the needs and resources of the Warm Springs community, came into being with the help of the Warm Springs Community Action Team, a local community development nonprofit; the local community college; scholarship support from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs; and the Oregon IDA Initiative.
Gordon credits the IDA program staff with guiding him to a specific plan, which was going to be more readily achievable over the course of his 5-year savings period, given the resources he had. As opposed to a big garage with lots of equipment, his narrowed goals became to start a mobile mechanic business.
While his college education provided a conceptual grounding, Gordon found the asset-specific education he received through the IDA program to be immediate and practical. He explains, “It was an eye opener, looking up tribal versus state versus and federal law, what the taxes will be, can I make money…it broadened my view. I had written business plans before, but had never actually followed through with one, until I did the IDA.”