Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.


He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Thursday, 30 April 2020 15:06

Body Shop Owner Forgives Rent for 200 Tenants

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Many of Brooklyn’s most colorful characters stop by Salerno’s to share stories and hang out. Many of Brooklyn’s most colorful characters stop by Salerno’s to share stories and hang out.


A lot of body shop owners end up being landlords, and sometimes it can be a pain in the you-know-what.

When you’re trying to fix cars and keep your customers, insurance partners and employees happy, you don’t want to have to worry about late rent or Mrs. Smith’s leaking faucet in apartment 5.


When this pandemic blindsided many of us, people all over the world started asking about their rent or mortgages.


To placate his tenants and take the high road, Mario Salerno, owner of Salerno Auto Body in the heart of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY, waived rent for all 200 tenants living in his 18 properties.


When Salerno decided to waive the rents for April, he posted the following message in all of his buildings: “Due to the recent pandemic of coronavirus Covid-19 affecting all of us, please note that I am waiving rent for the month of April, 2020.”


The Salerno family has three separate businesses, including a service station, a mechanical repair shop and a body shop.


Owned for three generations, Salerno Auto Body opened in 1959, fixing Buicks, Cadillacs and Lincoln Continentals for guys named Nunzio and Carlo.


Salerno’s businesses have played an integral role in the neighborhood since Day One, and when Mario retires, his son Sal, 33, will assume the helm.


Today, Sal runs the body shop, and Mario’s youngest son, Mario Jr., also works in the business on the mechanical side.

A collection of colorful locals often convene at the shop until Mario tells everyone it’s time to get back to work.


The neighborhood is calling him “Super Mario” and praising him for a gracious act that changed the lives of more than 200 people.


All he asked of his tenants is to pay it forward if possible.

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