Community fund to help start-up go big

ANOTHER Gladstone business which almost bit the dust last year has been saved.

Steve Patterson-Kane, who has owned PK's Automotive Servicing since January, couldn't have done it without the help of his mechanic Ian Morato, who has worked with the business since day one.

"We just want to bring honesty and integrity back into the community, and give more of a family environment," Mr Patterson-Kane said.

"It started off with my two daughters... and Ian, even though he's not blood, is part of the family."

PK's was recently announced as a graduate of the Rio Tinto Here for Business Program.

The Rio Tinto Community Fund Committee helps new and established businesses in Gladstone navigate through business financials, develops plans for sustainability, and provides assistance with legal matters, advertising and marketing.

The grant, which PK's has not received yet, will be between $40-100,000.

"We will actually get to where we will be, it's just a matter of getting there sooner with their help," Mr Patterson-Kane said.

"It really depends on what we want to do, but the short-term will be more important."

BUILDING UP: Mechanic Ian Morato and PK's Automotive Servicing owner Steve Patterson-Kane.
BUILDING UP: Mechanic Ian Morato and PK's Automotive Servicing owner Steve Patterson-Kane. Matt Taylor GLA271117PKAUTO

To start up the business, Mr Patterson-Kane invested between $40,000-50,000.

Mr Patterson-Kane aims to progress into the field of electronically tuning cars.

"It's giving us a bigger avenue to work on different cars," he said.

"Eventually my main goal is to have a one-stop shop, do panel, paint restoration, do mechanical, do the tuning, air-conditioning.

"We've got the opportunity to expand into the building next door."

Franchising is something Mr Patterson-Kane has looked into.

"It's probably not an easy thing to do because we have that family orientation," he said.

"We want to keep that and trying to find somebody who has those same values is very hard."



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