Successful business started out of owners’ home garage

Date: December 10, 2009


Steve and Jan Gaswint at Black Run Transmission in Nashport.

Steve Gaswint started Black Run Transmission in 1986 as a way to compensate for lost income after his wife left her job to care for their new baby. BRT began in Gaswint’s two-car garage. Gaswint worked a 48-hour-a-week job and then would work at BRT in the evenings. BRT became too much to do solely in the evenings, so Gaswint quit his full-time job in 1988 to concentrate on BRT. In 1996, due to the growth of the business, they purchased a building at a separate location. “This move was one of the best decisions we have made,” Gaswint said.

BRT is located in Nashport, Ohio and specializes in medium- and heavy-duty transmission and differentials. It also rebuilds gear boxes and oil field equipment. The latest addition to the business is a complete line of performance parts and services. BRT has an extensive parts inventory which enables quick turnaround time and parts sales.

A member of NFIB for approximately 15 years, Gaswint was first attracted because he wanted to have a voice in Washington, D.C. Gaswint has been an activist while being an NFIB member by writing letters to members of Congress. Also to further the cause of small business Gaswint started the Zanesville local association with another area small business owner and invited NFIB representatives to come and speak.

The biggest challenges that face BRT are the proposed government mandates included in card check (also known as the Employee Free Choice Act) and healthcare legislation. Gaswint asked, “Will the market stand the price increases necessary to sustain these programs?”  While Gaswint faces challenges, he also experiences many benefits of being a small business owner. “The best part is being in control of our own future. When we give 110 percent we get the benefits of that hard work,” said Gaswint.

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