What IT’S All About

October 13th, 2017 by

ShannonFlanagan’s customers have confidence. They are smart, accomplished and thoughtful. Their interests reflect this. Those interests often extend to the arts, education and outdoor realms.

With the corporate homogenization of America the definition of a local business has changed.  Over the past decade or more it seems that more and more businesses refer to themselves as local without local ownership.  There is a sentiment that all businesses that employ local people in their workforce, are local.  How could you argue with the notion that even the largest most corporate of businesses don’t provide a benefit to residents of western Montana by providing them a means to earn a living.  But, are all businesses that employ locals, “local”?  To that I would answer – there are some that are better for locals than others.  There are a number of factors that would influence my response;

  1. Does that business provide its’ employees a living wage?
  2. Does that organization provide its’ employees a positive healthy culture to work in?  One where they are a person, not a profit mule worked to the bone on the smallest investment imaginable?  
  3. Does that business support the larger local community through involvement, donations or some other means of engagement?  In other words, how much does that local business return versus how much do they send away?

The list of questions could go on, but I believe that this is a good start.  I am asking you to consider this when you purchase goods and services from a car dealership.  In my opinion, reflection of and harmony with the community are powerful forces that, when all other factors are nearly equal, you should consider as a consumer.  You will never hear me say we are the perfect fit for every customer but we work hard at supporting our customers and the community that we live in every day.  My family has been practicing this since 1974. Consumers vote on how they support our community when they open their pocketbooks.  Being a business owner means, it is my responsibility to reflect your support in a way that makes the collective better for everyone.  We do this by paying our taxes, being fair to our employees and sharing the result of the work we do throughout the Missoula community, with you our customers.

There are many great corporate cultures in the United States.  Corporate social responsibility is one very good reason I think you should pick my business above others when you consider your transportation solution.  There is a strong current in America that has been convincing themselves and others that profit is the only measure of success.  Profit is necessary but far from the only consideration a business should be concerned with in order to maintain vitality.  Poor decisions are made every day based purely on profitability.  Cost cutting and price gouging, while sometimes good for the bottom line, can have a profound effect on people.  Employees and customers often pay too much for their employment and the products they purchase.  While some would say businesses support our economy, I would argue that individuals do.  After all individuals are doing the work and spending their paychecks.  Businesses serve the consumers and employees who support the economy.

How do we deliver on our promise of “corporate social responsibility”.  To start with, by treating our customers and employees with dignity and respect.  Consumers are smart and information is easy to obtain.  Price, although it is still relevant, has and always will be outside of the top five considerations when purchasing a vehicle.  Anybody can tell you that you can pay $199 per month for ANY vehicle with enough qualifiers your eyes have crossed by the time you are done being forced to consume the ad telling you how awesome the deal is.   Flanagan Motors is uniquely positioned to provide you with a very competitive price while delivering a far superior experience.  As a business owner, I believe telling you how to obtain a ridiculously low car payment or price in thirty to sixty seconds on the radio, television, or internet is a farce and an insult to your intelligence.  That conversation is better to have in person where we can honor your individual needs and support you in good decision making.  When I advertise I would rather tell you what the value of dealing with my business is.  That value is that we provide your community with a partner so long as we continue to have your support.  Flanagan Motors will be a partner that will help strengthen your community through donations, activities, engagement and ideas.  The value of the dollar you spend in my store is potentially greater than the value of the dollar you spend at some other dealership or business in town because the dollar you spend here is returned to your community in a much more direct and impactful manner.  As a business concerned with making a positive impact on Missoula, Flanagan Motors has contributed over $60000 in donations and in-kind support to these local organizations.  


Funded and In-Kind Support (in no particular order)

  • Red Willow Learning Center
  • Bare Bait Dance Company
  • Arts Missoula formerly The Missoula Cultural Council
  • String Orchestra of the Rockies
  • Missoula Art Museum
  • Missoula Strikers Intermountain Champions Cup
  • Run Wild Missoula and The Missoula Marathon
  • United Way of Missoula County
  • 4-H
  • Downtown Dance Collective
  • Garden City Harvest
  • Partnership for Children
  • Youth Homes
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • The Roxy and International Wildlife Film Festival
  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
  • Zootown Arts Community Center and Festival of the Dead
  • Glacier Ice Rink
  • Create Missoula through Missoula County Public Schools
  • Climate Smart Missoula through Missoula Community Foundation
  • Watson Children Shelter through Missoula Community Foundation
  • Missoula County Animal Shelter through Missoula Community Foundation
  • Hellgate Knight Boys Soccer
  • Montana Natural History Center


Missoula is a place some like more than others.  She can be friendly and kind or nasty and mean.  The winters get a bit long sometimes, and the summers hot.  Some would say she offers tremendous opportunity others would disagree.  In short, Missoula is a balance of a lot of things both good and bad.  My advice to Missoulians is to enjoy the good things and let’s keep working on the bad.  For what my community is, I accept it, and realize that I can make a difference.  The most important action I can take is to be engaged in open minded dialogue while being constructive in my pursuit of understanding my fellow Missoulian.  Along with that I can multiply my impact by running a business that invests in the people it is supported by.  We can and should be able to celebrate our community while embracing our differences.  In my experience Missoula is full of individuals like this, which in turn make it a wonderful place to live and raise a family.  The reflection of my customers and employees should be a positive one on my hometown.  That reflection is intentional, not accidental.  The choice has to be made for that adventure to be set upon.  May the road rise up to meet us…

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