A Charlottesville auto shop that gained a lot of community support when it opened in April is now at a financial crossroads.
The do-it-yourself garage will have to close its doors if the owners cannot raise funds by the end of the week. The Auto Hobby Shop opened with the goal of giving people supplies and a space to fix up vehicles on their own. Now it's scrambling to raise thousands of dollars to continue its service to the community.
After more than two decades of blood, sweat, and tears, the shop's owners are dealing with a dent their tools can't fix.
"I mean we got it going but we can't keep it going. That's the problem," said co-owner Timothy Smith.
The do-it-yourself garage opened its doors to the community on April 8, charging customers $28 an hour to rent out the space. Smith says dozens of people have brought their vehicles in over the past two months, but it's not enough to even out the costs.
"We have got some that come in regularly, but it's not enough to keep the accounts up to par, and it's hurting the business and it's hurting us right now," he said.
The shop owners' priority right now is to buy three lifts. They're working with about a foot and a half between the car and the ground, but a lift would allow them to easily walk underneath.
"People want to be able to get their cars off the ground, do their work standing up, not have to worry about sitting down or laying on creepers," Smith said.
The owners need to raise $8,000 by Friday to keep their business alive. Smith says they are hoping for the best.
"I want to believe there's a chance, because it's a good thing for the community. It's a good thing to help people," Smith said.
But he's preparing for the worst. "We'll end up probably closing the doors and hopefully not selling off the equipment to pay the bills," he said.
The owners found out about their bleak financial situation two weeks ago. Since then, they've been trying to raise money online. If you are interested in helping, click here.
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