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Harper Ford a “pillar of the community”

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UPDATE: January 13, 2021

Owner Kelly Harper tells News 3 a major fire did shut down his business over the weekend, but he's now back up and running in temporary offices in the industrial park on Commerce Drive.

He says customers can shop for vehicles or come in for service Monday through Friday, 8 to 5. Or they can stop by on Saturday's from 8 until 1.

Kelly asks for patience as the business rebuilds.

ORIGINAL STORY

VIENNA, Ill. (WSIL) -- The Bob Harper Ford Dealership has been a pillar of the Vienna community for decades.

The family-owned dealership not only sold vehicles, it also helped build a stronger community by helping local non-profits.

Unfortunately, that all came to end last Friday when a fired destroyed the business.

The pastor of Shawnee Worship Center explained to News 3 the impact the owners of the dealership made on his ministry.

"Harper Ford has year-after-year continually supported our backpack giveaways, so, we give-away school supplies to over three thousand students every year. Our community events, they were a huge sponsor," said Pastor Casey Pollard.

Meanwhile, the Vienna Pro-Tem Mayor Richard Owen said the loss of the dealership means job loss for the dealership's sales team, automotive and administrative staff.

Owen said, the loss of the dealership is a detriment to the community as a whole, he said, especially because of the financial hit, the city will take once it no longer receives a percent of the business' car sales tax.

"They sell a car, and it goes to the state, the state reimburses us at the going rate at the time and the tax revenue would come back to Vienna at the time and we could spend it, as you can see, on our city park. Infrastructure, whatever," said Owen.

Both Owen and Pollard agree, the community will not be the same now as the Bob Harper Ford Dealership disappears.

Pastor Pollard thanked the owners for the many years the Harper's opened their hearts to the many in the community who have received their help.

"For decades, Bob Harper, Kelly Harper, the entire family and their businesses uplifted everything through generous and the entire community so just want to let them know that we are praying for them," said Pastor Pollard.

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Denise Turner

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