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515 Jones St
Aberdeen, SD 57401
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Press Release

Category: Northern, Cooperatives, Business

REED Fund Turns ‘A Dream’ Into Reality

AutoMaxx of Aberdeen Open For Business

With room for more than 250 vehicles, the large car lot at AutoMaxx just east of Aberdeen is something co-owner Kelly Krausz has been dreaming about.

“It was a dream,” Krausz said. “I thought I should do it now or never do it.”

Krausz, who previously worked as a sales manager at another dealership in Aberdeen, opened the new AutoMaxx car dealership this fall with his business partner Josh Kraft.

AutoMaxx specializes in newer-used cars and wants to simplify the car-buying experience for customers.

“We believe everyone should drive a nicer, newer, car,” Krausz said. “We truly put the customer first. We want them to be happy and if we do that the rest will take care of itself.”

The more than 16,000 square-foot AutoMaxx building - and the 250-vehicle car lot which surrounds it - was built with the help of financing from the Rural Electric Economic Development (REED) Fund. Northern Electric Cooperative utilizes the REED Fund to partner with local banks, other loan funds, and state and federal agencies to finance community and economic development projects.

“In today’s economy, employment and economic development continue to be challenging. Providing financial assistance through the REED Fund is very gratifying for us because we know we are making a difference in our small communities and rural areas,” Northern Electric Cooperative CEO/General Manager Char Hager said.

The REED Fund provides gap financing to new and expanding businesses that create jobs. Ninety-eight percent of REED Fund-financed projects have local owners. Northern Electric has used the REED Fund to provide financing for other area projects including the new Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen Area building, a new fueling station along U.S. Highway 281 in Frederick, and the new Horizon Aberdeen Community Health Center project.

The co-owners of AutoMaxx believe the REED Fund has allowed them to construct a project that will facilitate growth for the new business.

“I feel like we are better positioned for the future,” AutoMaxx co-owner Josh Kraft said. “It (the REED Fund) put us in a good spot for the future.”

Kraft says AutoMaxx is positioned for growth because the new facility not only includes plenty of office space for the 12 employees who currently work at the car dealer, but it also has several vacant offices and meeting rooms so AutoMaxx can grow its business both locally and online.

AutoMaxx, which is located on U.S. Highway 12 just east of Aberdeen, also has a large shop for its service department, a storefront for an after-market accessories shop, a pet wash, and a touchless car wash. Krausz calls the car wash the ‘most-versatile’ wash in Aberdeen because of its capabilities to wash large vehicles and pick-up trucks.

“We really put ‘culture’ inside this building,” Krausz said. “We consider ourselves the dealer for the people.”

A car dealership which started as a dream and has now become a reality for both Krausz and the community.