HENDRICKS - It's both the story of a new business and the continuation of one.
Patrick Dirckx has 12 years of experience fixing computers and computer networks, but starting this week he's officially going into business for himself.
"I've been busy, trying to get everything going and situated," Dirckx said.
D&D Computer, a computer sales, networking and repair business, opens today with an office in Hendricks.
The name "D&D Computer" will be familiar to some area residents, Dirckx said. It was originally the name of a computer business owned by his uncle and grandmother. Dirckx, who has studied computer science at Southwest Minnesota State University, and computer networking at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Granite Falls, started working for D&D in 2001 and stayed on for several years.
Dirckx said his family members had offered to sell him the building to continue the business, but at the time, it wasn't something he was able to do. Now, he said, he's had some opportunities open up, and he's reviving D&D Computer as a solo venture.
"I kept the name, because the community knows who it is," Dirckx said.
The Hendricks and Lake Benton area made a good location for the business, Dirckx said. For some customers, it will be closer than taking a computer to Marshall, Brookings or Sioux Falls for repair. It's also good to have another option for those kinds of services in the region, he said.
Finding affordable office space, and assistance from the Southwest Initiative Foundation's microloan program also helped make it possible for him to go into business, Dirckx said.
D&D Computer will have office hours on weekdays from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., or by appointment. Dirckx said he will be able to offer services like computer repair, removal of viruses, and dealing with networking issues. He can also build new computers.
Starting up a business has meant some anxiety, Dirckx said, but at the same time, there are some positives. People in Hendricks have shown interest in the new business. People in the area also know him, and they know he does good work, he said.
"I've always kind of prided myself that if I can't fix it, there'll be no charge," Dirckx said. "I want to see people happy and not having (computer) issues."