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A family business, School Street Trucks Parts in Lowell has been helping local residents keep their light trucks running strong for almost 35 years. We spoke to the charismatic, and rightfully proud owner, Ron Belley about his relationships with Sage Bank and the local community.  

Sage:
Can you tell us a little bit about School Street? 

Ron:
We started in 1980. The first 5 years all I did was pay bills. In April of ’85 I learned how to run this business from a competitor. The best part is that it was with an F-150 Pickup. It could have been an Impala but it was a truck. I came back and told Steven (Ron’s son) that we’re going to start buying trucks. 

Sage:
Do you feel like the community members help each other here? 

Ron:
I think there’s been a big change in the last 8 or 9 years. They’ve developed the old mill buildings and the artist’s lofts have given motivation for people to come here, because the cost of living in a loft is half what they would pay in the city.

Sage:
Do you enjoy working with Sage Bank? If so, why?  

Ron:
I’ve been working with them for over 25 years. People always tell you it’s the personal touch. It’s more than that. If you go to the big banks they say things like, “Oh we don’t do it that way.” At Sage, they say, “Do you mind if we do it this way? Because it would help us do our work a little bit better.” 

A couple of years ago we had a bad storm. They know I faithfully go in on Thursday evenings. The bank called to tell me they were closing early. So I didn’t have to go into my vehicle, drive downtown, just to find a locked door. When you’re in business, the time you save means a lot to an owner. Would a big bank do it? That’s why I’m there.

Sage:
Are they friendly?

Ron:
All banks are friendly because they want your money.  That’s not the point.  At Sage Bank you have that certain relationship when you walk in. Big banks will tell you they want your business, but when you’re on the other side of that teller window, it’s still the same thing – you’re just a number.

If you need an American made truck part, you probably already know about School Street, but just in case: http://www.schoolstreettruck.com/