With the COVID-19 pandemic in the rear-view mirror, Craig Dunn of Craig Dunn Buick GMC Ltd says the support he received from the community helped him immensely.

Dunn attended the most recent Rotary Club meeting, which he says was his first since 2008/2009. He explains that, back then, the auto industry was in turmoil, even more than when dealing with the pandemic.

"General Motors was getting ready to declare bankruptcy," says Dunn. "Ford was in trouble, Chrysler was about to run out of cash, but we made it through that. It's decidedly different times today, although there are certainly challenges today with the supply chain, but much better than before."

He adds the community continues to support his business, just like they did back then, and that's why he's still able to do what he does. Dunn notes that he really understood the power of those relationships once the pandemic hit.

He says they offered a completely touchless sale operation, including e-signing documents and being approved for payments online. However, most Portagers waited until they could actually go to the building.

"What we found through the pandemic, is that 95 per cent of our customers still wanted to come to the dealership to interact with us," mentions Dunn. "They wanted to get to know who they were dealing with and have us explain the vehicle to them, but I think more than that, they want us there after sales, so they have someone to contact and build a relationship of trust."

Dunn notes he's glad to be on this side of the COVID-19 pandemic but is still looking forward to when the supply chain issues are corrected so they can continue to build trust in the community and get more customers on the road.

"I think it's a slow climb over the next couple of years," says Dunn. "But, I think the worst is behind us, and bluer skies are ahead."