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      Generations of family business

      In a time when economic hardship dominates the headlines, Bartanen's Autobody in Ishpeming has a different story.

      Established during the Great Depression, Bartanen's has found a way to thrive during the Great Recession. The family business recently expanded its operations, moving from their old Greenwood Street location, to a prime spot on US-41.

      Steve Bartanen says his company TMs success can be attributed to his family. He inherited the company from his father, making him the third generation to preside over the business. The company prides itself as a dependable, affordable auto shop, deeply woven in a closely knit community.

      "Life and business is a roller coaster ride--sometimes you're on top, sometimes you're heading to the bottom at a heck of a rate," said Bartanen.

      But for now his business is on the upswing, and once Bartanen does leave the work force, the family's legacy will be handed to his three sons, all of whom work at the shop.

      "A lot of people say working with family is hard; I don't believe it is hard, Bartanen reflected. I'm blessed, I'm honored to be able to do that."

      Some see Bartanen's expansion as more than just the success of a family business. Community leaders in Ishpeming say all you have to do is look at the recently renovated storefronts downtown.

      "I think it is important that we do take a moment and share with the success of businesses like Bartanen's and others who celebrated renovations or whatever it may be because it has taken them a while to get there," said Elizabeth Peterson of the Greater Ishpeming Negaunee Chamber of Commerce.

      Signs of growth can be seen around town from small refurbishments to full fledged expansions.

      But as our roller coaster economy climbs and plunges, all Ishpeming businesses, including Bartenen's, will have to hang on for the ride.