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Friday, 04 September 2020 16:57

No Accident Licari Auto Body Supply is Surviving

Written by Steve Taylor, Jefferson County Leader Publications

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Licari Auto Body Supply in High Ridge, MO, like almost all businesses, was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but in an unexpected way.

“We absolutely felt it,” said Sales Manager Greg Schlereth. “When the shelter-at-home orders were in place, people were staying at home more, and there was less vehicular traffic, so there were fewer accidents.”

 

Licari, which was founded by Schlereth’s father-in-law, Marshall Aulbach, in 1978, sells automotive refinishing materials, like paint and painting supplies, to body shops.

 

Schlereth said fewer accidents translates into less demand for its products.

 

There’s also another aspect to the business, he said.

 

“We also have some walk-in trade for do-it-yourselfers,” Schlereth said.

 

For those folks, the store has been following all the regular guidelines.

 

“Like restaurants, we’ve also been offering curbside pickups,” he said, from its location at 2800 High Ridge Blvd.

 

The bulk of the business, however, is delivering products to clients.


“From the early going of all this, we’ve communicated with our customers on how they want us to proceed,” Schlereth said. “Do they want us to just drop off their orders, or do they want us to come in and speak with them? We worked with everyone to make sure they were comfortable with doing business with them.”

 

He said the business, which applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan through the Small Business Administration, shared its experience with its customer base.

 

“We gave information about the PPP loan process to everybody we could,” Schlereth said. “If they got a loan that helped them stay in business, that helped us stay in business.”

 

Licari has 12 employees, both in High Ridge and at a satellite office in Rolla.

 

“We’re a family-owned and family-operated business, and we try to go beyond to offer services our competitors can’t,” Schlereth said.

 

We thank Jefferson County Leader Publications for reprint permission.

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