Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 20, 2005

Commercial Collectors forgets the commute, sets up shop in Montrose

By Liz Helllmann
Staff Writer

Commercial Collectors has called more than one place home since it began in 1961, but current owner Jim Gilmer is excited about its newest location in Montrose.

The company, which leases its new office space from Citizens State Bank in Montrose, moved in June 6.

Gilmer started working at the business in 1981, when the office was located in Golden Valley.

Since Gilmer lived in the Buffalo area, he decided after 18 years of commuting to move the office closer to home.

“I live out here, and the majority of the staff was coming from Winsted, Howard Lake, and Buffalo, so we decided to flip it, and make the city people drive out here,” Gilmer said.

Currently staffed with 19 employees, the ones who do live farther away can work from home most of the week, using the Internet and telephone as their primary resources. Then they can drive out to the office a couple days a week.

A shorter commute isn’t the only reason Gilmer likes his new location. “We like the friendliness of the businesses,” Gilmer said. “It’s just nice to be out in the country.”

Commercial Collectors moved west to first set up business in Buffalo for five years, before moving into the new office building in Montrose.

Commercial Collectors helps companies that have supplied services to others and not been paid for them.

“The size of the claims can be anywhere from $50 to $50,000,” Gilmer said.

Most companies usually take preliminary actions to recover payments, but most businesses aren’t staffed enough to call people consistently, reminding them to pay their accounts, Gilmer said.

Claims can deal with the medical wholesale industry and rental equipment to doctors, dentists, and vet clinics that have not been paid for yet. Other claims deal with insurance companies.

Gilmer likes the work because it offers a lot of variety in terms of the different types of claims they handle. But, you have to be a good communicator and fast thinker in order to help people find solutions, Gilmer said.

The business was started by Gilmer’s father Russel in 1961. Russel was a regional manager for Dunn and Bradstreet in Minneapolis, before starting Commercial Collectors.

“We’re still doing what he started doing in 1961, only the tactics and equipment have changed quite a bit,” Gilmer said.

Commercial Collectors deal with clients across the nation, and due to changes in the economy, business is starting to pick up.

“We’re hoping with increases in the economy and business, we will be adding more staff,” Gilmer said.

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