BELLAIRE — Layoffs in Port Huron turned into a new business for this Antrim County community.
Terry Lash and Tess Micallef opened T&T Power Sports in Bellaire in April after layoffs in Port Huron caused them to look for new work. Lash’s brother owns Captain’s Choice Marine and saw an opportunity for Lash to cash in on his life-long hobby.
“I’ve been playing around with dirt bikes since I was about eight years old,” Lash said. “I brought my son up through drag racing.”
T&T Power Sports is a repair shop for jet skis, dirt bikes, four wheelers, utility task vehicles, ATVs and trailers. Accessories such as helmets, wetsuits and trailer equipment are for sale in the front showroom. Lash does the repairs and Micallef runs the store and does the business’ accounting.
“We’ve talked to the people in the area,” Lash said. “They’re happy to have somebody here that does this kind of stuff. If Mother Nature ever cooperates and gives us nice weather we’re hoping to collect some business from downstate.”
Lash hopes to break even the first year, to pay the bills and put a little money back into the business to help it grow. He’d eventually like to expand the inventory for sale in the showroom and rent equipment such as jet skis and fishing boats to visitors who want to spend time on the water.
“I think jet skis would go over really well with the people in their mid-20s who come up from downstate and want to play around for the weekend,” Lash said.
Micallef wants to see the business become part of the community.
“Figuring out what everyone needs in the area is what we’re hoping to do,” she said. “We want to grow. We want people to be able to count on us and trust us.”