Chevy dealer about more than just cars

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ironton businessman Bob Clyse knows an opportunity when he sees it. But he also knows that some things are a little harder to put a price tag on.

Clyse, owner of Bob Clyse GMC Buick in Ironton, added another word to his business last week: Chevrolet.

As in he now holds the franchise for one of the most enduring and beloved car manufacturers in the world. Clyse bought the franchise and the property that had been in the Higgins family for decades.

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This is bittersweet for many in the community because it did mean that an Ironton legacy in Higgins Chevrolet was coming to an end, a result of the sluggish economy and other challenges.

For Clyse, this is certainly a shrewd business move because he not only gains the franchise license but also now has prime lot space along Third Street in Ironton, property that actually had his current business essentially landlocked.

But it wasn’t just about dollars and cents.

Clyse certainly didn’t have to take over the franchise and there likely weren’t droves of other potential buyers lining up. He just felt it was the right thing to do from a business standpoint but, perhaps even more importantly, from a community investment.

The impact of keeping a Chevrolet dealership in Ironton for residents to call their own shouldn’t be undervalued.

Look what happened when we lost our hospital. The entire county took a massive blow to its self esteem and may have felt that some of its individuality was lost.

Small business owners like Clyse are what our country and our county were built on. Their dedication and community spirit were key to the past and will be even more important to our future.