Editor's note: This is one in a weekly series of profiles on locally owned and operated businesses in Southern Oregon.

Editor's note: This is one in a weekly series of profiles on locally owned and operated businesses in Southern Oregon.

What do you do and how long have you been doing it? We rebuild engines, and we've been in business for about 40 years. We started the business in Campbell, Calif., and brought it here in 1979. We rented the building next door and then built this building in 1983.

How long have you lived in the Rogue Valley? We've been here for 30 years. We wanted to be in a smaller community. When we were racing we'd go up and down I-5 all the time, and if we saw a community we liked, I'd contact the chamber of commerce.

What inspired you to go into this line of work? My husband is a machinist, and he raced cars. He was a drag racer in Fremont, but he traveled a lot. He started doing things for himself and then purchased one piece of equipment and another, and pretty soon we were a full-blown machine shop.

What decision or action would you change if you could do it again? Maybe purchasing equipment, whether it was justifiable, and whether we'd make money with it. It's never been a bad decision to purchase a piece of equipment.

What's the toughest business decision you've made? What keeps me awake at night right now is the economy. The Oregon Legislature and the federal government have passed measures that make it difficult for small businesses. The fees for everything are going up; it makes it difficult for small business to even hire someone else. We've got Social Security, Medicare, insurance and other things you have to pay.

Who are your competitors? R.C. Machine, Johnson's Machine Shop in Medford or Keller in Medford.

What are your goals? Long term, our son will take over the business. He's been working here since he graduated from high school in 1985. There was a time five years ago we had two more employees. The amount of business has dropped off, related to the economy.

What training or education did you need? Ron was an aircraft mechanic in the Navy and was trained as a machinist for Westinghouse in Sunnyvale, Calif., for two or three years. Then he went to work for a smaller company for a couple of years and then we went into business for ourselves. I was a supervisor at an electronics company, California Microwave in Sunnyvale. I take care of all the ordering and book work.

What's your advice for budding entrepreneurs? Keep it small in the beginning. Have financial back-up, because you just don't know what the economy is going to do. Try to be a good community member and achieve your goals.

To suggest ideas for this column, about businesses that are at least five years old, contact reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4463 or e-mail business@mailtribune.com