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On Saturday October 10, the River Bend Growth Association celebrated the opening of A+ Automotive located at 1835 North Rogers in Alton. Bill Anton, a retired automotive instructor, has a passion for restoration of classic American, British, German and Swedish cars – among others, and while A+ Automotive will maintain and work on late model cars, he plans to steer his business toward vehicle restoration.
It’s uncommon for the Growth Association to hold a ribbon cutting over the weekend, but after RBGA Director of Member Services Joell Aguirre heard what Bill had in mind for the event, she realized only a Saturday afternoon would work. As if to emphasize Bill’s aspirations toward restoration of classic cars, the A+ parking lot was ringed with mint condition classics from local car clubs.
Anton also used the gathering of friends, well-wishers and the media to voice his gratitude for the help he received from the Service Corp Of Retired Executives (SCORE) in taking his business from an idea to a reality. SCORE is an organization made up of a network of expert business mentors who offer free confidential services with the intent of optimal success for new businesses. They also work with existing businesses to help identify ways to increase profit, improve employee and customer satisfaction, and achieve work/ life balance. Richard Rook of the local SCORE Chapter helped Anton build a business plan, and identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in opening an automotive repair/restoration business in Alton.
Tom Hoechst, CNB Bank and Trust Business Development Officer, was also on hand for the ceremony. Anton praised Hoechst and CNB Alton Market President Steve Thompson for their help in securing financing for his business.