As the rain fell outside in Morristown, another new business was dedicated with a ribbon cutting inside.
Mobility Plus, located in the Western Willow Shopping Center on West Andrew Johnson Highway, is the latest business to be honored by the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce – and 2020 Chamber Chairman Jim Price said neither the weather nor the looming situation with the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, could dampen the occasion.
“It’s good to see people coming out to welcome a new business in such challenging weather under such challenging circumstances,” Price said.
Mobility Plus is a national franchise that offers state-of-the-art mobility equipment like stair lifts, mobility scooters, power wheelchairs, auto scooter lifts, fixed and portable entry ramps, lift recliner chairs and more so people or their loved ones can stay at home rather than move into an assisted living facility or nursing home.
“Our biggest thing is to serve the community – and so far, we’ve been doing that,” said Jay Linx, who co-owns Mobility Plus with his wife, LeElyn.
“These guys are here. They’re relevant, and they’ve got a need the community can use,” Price said.
The Linxes said Mobility Plus combines the best value with the most reliable mobility products in the industry and are committed to supporting customers’ desire to stay active and mobile, and age in place in their own home. Also, the company’s streamlined procurement processes for government agencies make it easy and efficient to do business customers.
“We can compete with internet pricing, and often, we can beat internet pricing,” Jay Linx said. “We also rent (mobility supplies, which is great for people who only need our products for a few weeks.”
“We really want people to get the best possible (products) they need at the best price,” LeElyn Linx said. “When they sit down with us, we know they’ve been to other places, but we feel our prices and service put us ahead of the others.”
Jay Linx also said Mobility Plus’ location is perfect for customers to test drive the products they’re contemplating buying or renting.
“We chose this location (at the Western Willow Shopping Center) because our customers can test the scooters and the stair lifts in the parking lot,” he said. “We’re doing what we can to help out our customers.”
The inspiration for buying a franchise came from a near-tragic incident. Jay Linx was injured in a bonfire accident last June that left burns on over 30% of his body. Not only did he have to put his career as a chief engineer in the Merchant Marines on hold, but he actually had to use the services he now provides.
Jay Linx wasn’t the only person who had to make a sacrifice because of his injury. LeElyn had just finished her master’s degree at Carson-Newman University when her husband was injured, and was looking forward to a life in teaching.
“When Jay got hurt, there were a lot of things to worry about because he was the primary breadwinner in the family since I was in school,” LeElyn Linx said. “How were we going to pay the mortgage? How were we going to make the car payments?”
It was at that point the Linxes decided to become business owners and look for a franchise – and they found Mobility Plus. Three months of intense training in Chicago and Tampa, Florida – and nine months after Jay’s injury – the Linxes became franchise owners.
“I thought I’d be back working on ships. (Mobility Plus) is a godsend,” Jay Linx said. “Working on a ship is a young man’s game.
“I’m 68 years old. That’s why I’m glad this opportunity came.”
The Linxes have even installed a stair lift for LeElyn’s parents in Newport News, Virginia so they can stay in the house she grew up in.
“They’re just shooting up and down the down the stairs now,” she said.
Mobility Plus is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. However, any batteries that need to be replaced on any item sold or rented by Mobility Plus can be changed at any time.
“These are medical devices,” Jay Linx said. “We are there to fix any devices if they go down at any time.”