Three basic principles guided the Manginos when they opened their Buick dealership 37 years ago: treat your employees like family, get involved in your community, and provide your customers with good transportation at a fair price. This mantra helped the family grow their upstate New York dealership into a successful sales and service operation—so successful, in fact, that a complete makeover became the only solution for the small, aging building that was bursting at the seams.
Their banking partner, M&T Bank, was not willing to take on the entire loan, but the bank's representative connected them with The 504 Company. Together, the lenders assembled a $3.95 million loan package that allowed the Manginos to raze the old building and construct, equip, and furnish a new 35,000-square-foot showroom on the same property.
"The loan allowed us to move forward with building the building we wanted, and to supplement what the banks wouldn't touch. Before that we were scrambling for ideas. We weren't getting cooperation from our regular bank to take on the whole note," said Ralph Mangino Jr., whose father, Ralph, and late mother, Mary, opened the dealership in 1978. Today, Ralph Jr. and his sisters, Patty Mangino and Tina Mangino-Coffey, also own the business. The family also owns a Chevrolet dealership in the neighboring city of Amsterdam.
During the yearlong construction process, the Mangino Buick service department operated in the old space until the new service center was built. A vacant house on the property served as sales and office space for six months while the spacious new showroom was built.
Recognizing the value of the project, M&T partnered with The 504 Company through the Small Business Administration's 504 loan program.
"The Mangino Buick project represents a substantial investment in the dealership and also the Ballston Spa community. The Manginos are longtime General Motors dealers, and when they needed to build a new Buick facility for their Ballston Spa location, M&T Bank was able to provide them with financing options," said Herschel Gornbein, vice president of M&T Bank.
The new construction triggered a boost in business, said Ralph Mangino Jr., with sales for this year up 30 percent.
"Mangino's project exemplifies how leveraging a company's existing value through the SBA 504 program can make a strong brand even stronger," said Ross Pancoe, vice president of The 504 Company.
"Mangino Buick now has a state-of-the-art dealership that it can leverage to grow its business for many years to come. Mangino Buick has experienced significant sales and job growth since the dealership was completed. It is a project that may not have had happened if not for the SBA 504 program," Pancoe said.
Since opening the new showroom in March 2014, two more service technicians and two more sales people have been hired.
"We're adding jobs," Ralph Mangino Jr. said. "Without help from New York and the SBA, I'm not sure our project would have gotten done."