by Erin McNelis
One of the wonderful things about living and working in Montgomery County is the daily union of modern conveniences and rich history.
For BKZ Merchant Services, that union has taken center stage this summer. The 14 year-old company, owned by local entrepreneur Bob Zimmerman, recently moved their offices to 217 East Montgomery Avenue in North Wales, which happens to also hold a special place in the Borough of North Wales’s history. The land that the office sits on is the original site of the first North Wales Hose Company, which was established in 1888. That year, a town council meeting approved the purchase of equipment and the building of the first firehouse. A year later, Sylvester Bright, a North Wales designer and builder of carriages, constructed a hose carriage for the company. According to the North Wales Fire Department Web site, that first “fire truck” cost $54.50.
While that first fire truck may have been paid for with credit, paying with plastic as we know it didn’t start happening until the 1950s. Since that is currently most people’s preferred method of payment, Zimmerman runs his business as a way to help businesses facilitate credit card purchases. “We represent major processing companies,” explains Zimmerman. “The value of our business is brining the best gateways and functions together in a way that is in the client’s best interest.”
BKZ Merchant Services, founded in 1998, helps business owners and nonprofits understand how to navigate the complexities of transaction processing services. They are experts in transaction processing services and payment processing technologies and have built the business by carefully growing customer relationships. A large part of what the company does is hold informative or educational presentations, and the building at 217 East Montgomery Avenue facilitates that need.
“The building was exactly what we were looking for,” says Zimmerman. “A large space in the front will be used for educating groups, while the smaller area in the back accommodates several offices. It is in a central area in North Wales, in the historic district, and is one of the more historic sites in town.”
The building had housed a driving school in past years and sat vacant for a time. Zimmerman was able to rent the building, which is still owned by the fire department, through a local connection.
“I knew I wanted space in the borough,” says Zimmerman. “It enables us to be connected to other businesses in the community, and the history of where we are is a neat thing. It is an exciting time for us.”
For information about BKZ Merchant Services, call (888) 853-1012 or visit bkzconsulting.com.