by Stella Shepard
At a young age, Dwayne Lutz of Souris enjoyed fixing cars, an interest that eventually led to a career in auto body repair.
He graduated from Souris Regional High School in 1990 and entered an Auto Body Repair college program. “I started working in auto body repair shops while in college,” Dwayne says. “It was always my goal to have my own shop.
“The timing was not right until I bought an existing shop from Charles MacDonald, who I worked for off and on for several years. I became self-employed in 2013. Since opening, I have not had to advertise, as the result of word-of-mouth and having a good reputation.”
C.A. MacDonald Auto Body is located on Belmont Street in Souris. It offers rust repairs, auto collision repairs, vehicle inspections, headlight buffing and aiming, wheel refinishing, and auto painting. “We will also paint house doors and anything that will fit in the shop,” says Dwayne. “We are open year-round.”
About the staff
Paula, his wife, works as the company bookkeeper. She honed those skills by completing a Simply Accounting program offered through the Rural Action Center (RAC) in Montague.
“I hired Ian McClumph, a licensed Auto Body Technician,” says Dwayne. “My son Nathan is an apprentice who has been with us for four years.”
Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC), located at the RAC on Main Street in Montague, assists in the creation of small businesses and in the expansion and modernization of existing businesses by providing financial and technical services to entrepreneurs.
“We provide business loans, counselling, advice, entrepreneurship development, and business training,” says Martina MacDonald, Executive Director of CBDC East, housed out of RAC, Montague.
When Dwayne decided to start his own business, he took his idea to Career Development Service (CDS) in Souris. The CDS staff connected him with Martina at CBDC East.
Dwayne enrolled in a program through CBDC to assist with writing a business plan that resulted in securing financial assistance from CBDC East.
“I would highly recommend the services of CBDC if you are considering starting a business,” says Dwayne. “I also completed a program recently with CBDC to help with financial and business decisions. I recently enrolled in a Small Business Development program through the RAC.”
In his first year of business, Dwayne was eligible for the Self Employ PEI program offered through SkillsPEI.
Self Employ PEI is an employment program developed to help job seekers who want to launch their own business. This program provides financial support and business counselling to new entrepreneurs during their first year of operation. SkillsPEI offers Self Employ PEI information sessions for interested job seekers to find out more about the program.
For more information about C.A. MacDonald Auto Body, contact Dwayne Lutz at 902-687-3243 or 902-215-0310. Visit www.camacdonaldautobody.com.
For more information about Rural Action Centre, visit www.ruralactioncentres.ca.
For more information about CBDC, visit www.cbdc.ca.
For more information about Career Development Services, visit www.cdspei.ca.
For more information about SkillsPEI, visit www.skillspei.com.