The recent slump in the economy has, without a doubt, had an affect on many small, privately owned businesses throughout the community. One locally owned name that took a hit was Mike and Paul’s Auto Repair in Ocean View. Now, owner Mike Blizzard is hoping that a new location in Dagsboro, accompanied by his decades of experience and knowledge, will help his business find an upturn.
By Oct. 1, Mike and Paul’s will be relocating into Dagsboro, on Vine’s Creek Road, near Griff’s Grass.
“With the way the economy is,” said Mike Blizzard, who has been running the shop beside Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View along with his wife, Kerry, for six years, “we had to cut our overhead a little bit. We wanted a way to keep our prices down for our customers but still bring that same service we have been for years.”
The new location will give Blizzard roughly the same amount of space and will allow him to widen his reach toward more clients.
Originally from Maryland, Blizzard began working in the automotive industry in 1973. He balanced years between dealerships and other garages before starting up his own, and having that experience has helped him push on.
“We’ve been able to work with the same customers here for so long because of our low prices, and they know I’m honest and they can trust me,” said Blizzard. “I want to be able to continue that. I’ve been able to work well with other business owners in the community. They have helped refer clients to me, and that is how I’ve been able to make it.”
Recovery efforts during the economic downturn – particularly the Cash for Clunkers program – may have done a number on many small garages and auto-body shops.
“I’m not criticizing what [President Barack] Obama did,” said Blizzard, “but we definitely felt the affects of that program. After all of the cars were taken in, there weren’t any for us to get parts from. It really did a number on the small places like mine. I’ve never seen the economy this bad in all my years of work. You’ve got to make so much money now just to make ends meet.”
Contrary to what the business’ name may suggest, the service work has pretty much been a one-man job for Blizzard. Michael Paul Blizzard is both “Mike and Paul.”
“This is my baby,” he said. “It’s always been my dream.”
Once out in Dagsboro, Blizzard plans to bring the same services he’s been offering for years, from basic mechanics to diagnostic work.
“We’re not changing up what we’ve been doing,” said Blizzard. “But now, we can, hopefully, reach even more people.
By the start of next month, Mike and Paul’s Auto Repair will be located at 32577 Vine’s Creek Road in Dagsboro, approximately 4.5 miles west of their current location. The phone number, (302) 541-8480, will remain the same, to better serve customers. Mike and Paul’s Auto will be open at their current Ocean View location through the end of September, available Mondays through Fridays, from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m., and on Saturdays, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.