Get to know: Shawn Geary of McCoy Bus Service and Kingston Fleet & Auto Service
Tell us about your work.
At McCoy Bus Service, we offer bus charters but not only busses: we offer vans, coaches, and school buses to charter for your group or team. We also offer airport transfers and, in 2022, we’ll be once again offering bus tours to destinations all over Ontario, Québec, and Northeastern United States.
The great people of Kingston have supported my business by shopping locally and, because of that, I have been able to grow my business and survive the pandemic.
What do you love about Kingston?
Kingstonians are warm, caring, compassionate people. They wave to you when you pass them on the street. I walk my dog every morning and night and everybody I pass says hello. It’s just the way Kingstonians are.
I think Kingston’s a fantastic city to do business in. We’ve got a great city in a great location located between Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. It’s a fantastic place to be with lots to offer people who live here. The proximity to the water, the wilderness, and the camping means lots to see and do. You can easily get to a big city and see it from Kingston, or you can stay local and enjoy what Kingston has to offer.
Through the pandemic, I’ve learned people in Kingston are going to be there to support local businesses. We’ve made it through the pandemic, we’re coming out the other side, and people are already calling to find out when we’re going back to the casinos or when we’re going to be providing trips again. We’re hearing from teams, groups, clubs, and organizations inquiring about when and how they’ll be able to charter a bus again to go to their next destination.
Now that we’re coming out the other side, it’s so nice to see so many of my staff coming back to work…people that live and want to work in this community.
Why start your own business?
I’ve lived in Kingston for 35 years. I went to high school in Napanee and St Lawrence College in Kingston.
I bought a preexisting business, a limousine service, 28 years ago. I drove for Mr. McCoy who started McCoy Limousine Service when I was in college. Years later he asked if I wanted to the buy the limo business so I did because I had some experience with the company.
The company did so well here in Kingston because of the location that I was able to grow it to what it is today by buying one bus, then another bus…
Could you tell us about a customer you served recently that really made you smile?
We recently did a wine tour in Prince Edward County and it was a group that got together to celebrate the retirement of a nurse. The group sent a photo of them all standing at the back of the bus with a sign stuck on the back that said HONK for Judy’s Retirement.
Local businesses you love to support?
I like to support local restaurants and pubs. Some friends and I like to go out and enjoy a beer after work on a Friday and we’ll go to craft breweries like Spearhead and Riverhead.
Small and medium businesses create nine out of ten Canadian jobs.
– Statistics Canada –
Canadian businesses have taken on tens of billions of dollars in debt, and many are struggling to repay.
– Statistics Canada –
At least half of every dollar spent at local businesses stays local.
– multiple North American studies –
Kingston was one of the Canadian economies most impacted by COVID-19.
– Conference Board of Canada –
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