BROWNTON, Minn. – Fred Heidecker has been repairing vehicles part-time for the past 20 years, and he’s decided to go all in by opening his own business, FRH Motorsports, in Brownton with support from Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Microenterprise Loan Program.
“I’ve been involved in the automotive repair industry for most of my life. I was working at a dealership and doing my own repairs on the side, and I got to the point where I had so many customers I couldn’t keep up. That’s why I decided to go into business for myself full time,” Heidecker said.
Heidecker started out in the industry 40 years ago after completing the automotive course at what was then Hutchinson Area Vocational School. He is currently a Ford certified Master Technician and was most recently employed as the service manager at Holt Motors in Cokato.
FRH Motorsports offers general automotive and light truck repair specializing in electronic diagnostics and repairs, diesel repair and modification and off-road and competition vehicle construction and repair.
The shop is in a 40-foot-by-60-foot building Heideicker owns in Brownton. Loan funds from SWIF provided working capital for Heidecker to purchase equipment such as a car trailer, scan tool, computers and printers.
Loan programs have been a key function of SWIF since its inception to support communities and businesses throughout southwest Minnesota. In 2001, microlending was added to existing programs as a tool to support small businesses and people looking for self-employment opportunities.
“Similar businesses that we’ve supported through our loan programs have performed well, and we’re happy to have Fred joining that group in pursuing entrepreneurship,” said SWIF Economic Development Officer Jackie Turner.
Microloan clients receive free technical assistance from SWIF staff to improve their business management skills. Areas of support include business planning and financials analysis, QuickBooks training, marketing assistance and other training opportunities for the life of the loan.Learn About Our Loan Programs
This microloan program receives funding assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, contact SWIF at 800-594-9480, 320-587-4848 or [email protected].
About Southwest Initiative Foundation
Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) is a nonprofit community foundation connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities to create a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive. Since its founding in 1986, SWIF has distributed more than $97.8 million through its grantmaking and business finance programs.