LAMAR, MO.--- Fast Eddie Hot Rod Shop in Lamar is helping to restore the area's economy. After O'Sullivan's Industries closed several years ago, many other businesses shut down as well, leaving numerous residents without a job in Barton County.
"I worked here in this building for Gilky Chevrolet, and they went out of business of February 2009. So I was without," said Rod Burris, Fast Eddie Hot Rod Shop Manager.
His boss told everyone they had two weeks before they all would be unemployed.
"Brian called me and he said I heard you were out of a job, won't you come work for me," said Burris.
Fast Eddie Hot Rod Shop on the Lamar square started out with two employees and now has 12 people working full time.
"Been here for just right at five years. It has really grown, so it's a plus for the town," said Burris.
One of the owners, Brian Brewer, says the business wasn't given credit at the beginning, but they slowly continued to grow.
"After the second anniversary, we were still growing. We were adding people and leasing another building and we started diversifying. If you have all your eggs in one baskets, sometimes in this business, it's hard to survive," said Brian Brewer, Co-Owner of Fast Eddie Hot Rod Shop.
The more services they started providing, the more specialist they needed.
"We started doing restorations. We've added collision work, we manufacturer fiber glass parts for the limo industry. We build parts for the funeral car industry as well, we do service work, oil changes," said Brewer.
Brewer says when he looks at payroll and the insurance the company provides for employees, he knows it's for a good cause.
"As we've gone along, we've understood that we're actually making a difference in Lamar, in Barton County," said Brewer.
After a successful nine years in one of the worst economies, they've figured out a way to survive.
"Everybody likes the big home run hit with the huge company coming to town, but in all honesty, if you had 15 companies the size of this one and maybe add a couple here and there, it's a lot more stable I believe," said Brewer.
Fast Eddie's Hot Rod Shop will celebrate their 9th anniversary this March. They have customers from around the country and even their list of international customers are steadily growing.
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