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Millennial entrepreneurs are reinvesting in Tallahassee's Southside

Posted at 6:29 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 14:11:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Young entrepreneurs are reinvesting in the Southside and supporting the community.

Instead of leaving Tallahassee after college, some Millennials are choosing to stay and take advantage of the opportunities to build a small business.

When the owners of the Complete Automotive Repair and Service, or CARS, met in 2013 they shared a dream to open an auto repair business dream turned reality in 2015 when they opened their shop on the Southside.

"I think any young entrepreneurs or any entrepreneurs who is looking to make a stand in Tallahassee. I think this is the area to start looking," said Rodney Funderburk Jr., Co-Owner of CARS.

Rodney and Josh met at Firestone where they both worked. They say they didn't see a lot of young entrepreneurship in terms of local businesses in the city and on Southside they saw a need, plus it was affordable.

As for the customers, that part was easy, thanks to college connections.

"You're also dealing with people you were in school with for 4 years so you already have a market to market to - especially if you are from one of the campuses," said Funderburk. "That's ground zero, make some fliers, start handing them out and start getting a customer base with very low investment."

Young entrepreneurs, selling to their peers and business is booming.

"They feel that they can trust us and ask us advice and stuff," said Josh Iman, Co-Owner of CARS.

CARS caters to everyone, of course, but makes sure they keep the Southside community that they serve in mind when it comes to pricing.

Tracy Garrison, a loyal customer, was born and raised on the Southside. He says thanks to entrepreneurs like Rodney and Josh and honest businesses like CARS, he sees the Southside coming back to the way it was.

"If you bring more businesses like this to the area it makes it more inviting - it makes it a better place to be and people feel more comfortable coming down here," said Garrison.

Rodney and Josh eventually want to offer basic mechanics classes at FSU and FAMU for students.

They are working on that but say in the meantime they are offering a free basic mechanics class for the community at CARS in December. For more information, click here.