Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. This week we highlight developments in Dubuque and Manchester, Iowa.

For as long as he can remember, Tyler Madigan has been passionate about racing cars.

“Ever since I could walk and talk, it was all I ever wanted to do,” Madigan recalled. “I just wanted to race all the time.”

Madigan has recently turned his passion into a career, launching and growing TMR Enterprises into a multi-faceted business serving auto enthusiasts across the region.

Located at 923 Peru Road in Dubuque, the budding business provides repairs and improvements for race cars, as well as building such vehicles from scratch. On top of that, TMR Enterprises offers detailing for semi-trucks, trailers, RVs, campers and a wide array of other vehicles.

Over the years, Madigan has raced cars on tracks in Farley and Maquoketa and occasionally traveled to other parts of the country to compete. His introduction to the business end of automobiles came a few years ago, when he began working at a vehicle manufacturer located near DeWitt.

Madigan eventually tired of the lengthy commute and set his sights on starting a business of his own.

He launched TMR Enterprises out of a two-car garage and then upgraded to a 1,500-square-foot facility. In November, he moved the operation to a 7,000-square-foot property on Peru Road, a move that provided adequate space for continued growth.

The business currently employs just one person, but Madigan emphasized that multiple family members also lend a hand around the shop. His 7-year-old daughter, Madilyn, offers a consistent and uplifting presence.

“She likes to boss everyone around,” Madigan said with a chuckle. “She has a lot of fun around here and keeps a smile on everyone’s face.”

TMR Enterprises is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. The business can be reached at 563-581-3687.

EASING THE TRANSITION

A new facility in Manchester will provide patients with new therapy options and ease their transition home.

The Good Neighbor Society plans to open its new “rehab to home” facility on Feb. 1. The new space is attached to an existing nursing home on the Good Neighbor Society’s campus.

Patient Care Coordinator Sara Wilwert said the facility is specifically designed for patients who were admitted to a hospital setting and are not yet ready to be discharged.

“(The rehab to home space) will allow them to get stronger physically and help them have their medical needs managed before they head home,” she said.

The new space boasts a gym that spans over 3,000 square feet and is equipped with multiple features that mimic the at-home experience. The gym includes a model house with a door and screen door, a car, a grocery store and a full kitchen, all of which simulate everyday experiences and allow residents to practice the day-to-day actions they will need to master once they return to their homes.

In many cases, residents are adapting to using a new assistive device like a walker or wheelchair, and mastering these tasks has the potential to be difficult.

“We will work with them and practice the things that you do every day at home, so hopefully when they go back to their homes there are no surprises,” Wilwert said.

The new gym is more than five times larger than the one previously utilized by Good Neighbor Society.

In addition to the new gym, the “rehab to home” facility will include 13 patient rooms and its own dining room.

Interested residents can learn more by visiting goodneighborsociety.org or by calling 563-927-3907.

MALL STORE TO CLOSE

After more than two decades in Dubuque’s Kennedy Mall, a popular clothing store is poised to close.

Christopher & Banks, a Minnesota-based retailer with about 400 locations nationwide, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. The Christopher & Banks store in Kennedy Mall was among the “significant portion” of retail locations that the company announced it would close in conjunction with the bankruptcy filing.

Mall spokesman Joe Bell framed the closure as the continuation of a troubling trend in the retail industry.

“That is kind of the way of the world right now,” he said. “The retail sector has been battered recently.”

Bell said the Christopher & Banks store’s closure likely will be in mid-February but could come sooner if all remaining inventory is sold before then.

The retailer specializes in women’s clothing, both for work and everyday attire. The events of the past year put a major dent in sales.

“People weren’t going into work, and they just weren’t going out like they used to,” Bell said “If you put that kind of pressure on an industry that was already struggling, that creates a situation that is very difficult to overcome.”

Last month, Christopher & Banks Corp. reported that it had a net loss of $10.8 million in the third quarter of 2020, as net sales dropped 23%.

Christopher & Banks occupies a 4,400-square-foot space in the Dubuque mall and has been a tenant there since 2000, according to Bell. While there is no immediate plan for filling the space, Bell emphasized that a wide range of options will be explored.

He noted that malls across the nation are filling vacant retail space with other uses, including professional services, hospitality and even medical services.

“We will consider a variety of different directions to fill that space,” he said. “It will be attractive to a number of different merchants.”

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