Zimmermann also applied for assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, part of the federal stimulus package. By Monday, April 13, he had received $2 million in his bank account for his dealerships and a closed car wash business.
"That's been a huge relief," Zimmermann said. " ... We were confident a week ago. We are comfortable now."
Both stores were profitable in March, but April looks "dramatically different" with likely just a trickle of vehicle sales since an April 9 state order allowing for online transactions. Service remains open, though with reduced hours. That business, based on repair-order count, has recovered to about 40 percent of typical volumes, up from a low of 20 percent, Zimmermann said.
Zimmermann is providing regular updates to employees, including messages about what may happen next.
That approach, he said, has helped his staff trust that management will get them through this difficult period and "do what is best for the business and our employees and for our customers."