Dan Meneray opened his towing and automotive business in 2016 on Manitoulin Island. The young entrepreneur worked around the clock to make his dream a reality after purchasing property and building a small one-bay garage that summer. With an older flatbed tow truck, Dan was busy responding to calls to assist with locked vehicles, flat tires, dead batteries, accidents and general breakdowns. Recognizing an opportunity for growth, Dan set his sights on building his towing business. When his old truck died, Dan turned to LaCloche Manitoulin Business Assistance Corporation (LAMBAC) for a loan to buy a new flatbed truck.
LAMBAC is one of 24 Northern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporations funded by FedNor. It offers free business advice and workshops, as well as commercial financing to entrepreneurs and those looking to start a business in its catchment area.
LAMBAC has been there every step of the way for Meneray Towing and Automotive. As the company secured towing contracts for the Canadian Automobile Association and Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance, Dan needed additional help. In 2019, a loan from the Northeastern Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Investment Pool, led by LAMBAC, secured the necessary financing for an off-road recovery truck.
“What makes Meneray Towing and Automotive stand out is the owner’s strong work ethic, ability to recognize growth opportunities and willingness to act upon them,” remarked Carolyn Campbell, Executive Director, LAMBAC. “In seven short years, Dan has expanded this business and created six full-time jobs. We were happy to champion his cause.”
After Dan returned for a third loan to expand his fleet, the unthinkable happened on November 20, 2022. An electrical short in a vehicle that had been left overnight in the shop ignited a fire that destroyed the building and both tow trucks.
“LAMBAC came through for us, despite the fire, with the financing for the third vehicle,” explained Hannah Meneray, co-owner, Meneray Towing and Automotive. “It was crucial because it enabled us to continue to work and keep our contracts while we rebuilt our business. We would not be here today without them.”
As of October 2023, LAMBAC has distributed more than $49.3 million in loans to businesses and organizations in the LaCloche Manitoulin area. It currently is managing almost $12.7 million in term loans to 219 businesses like Meneray Towing and Automotive.
To find out more about realizing your business dream, contact LAMBAC toll-free at 1-800-461-5131 or your local Community Futures Development Corporation.