Small business, big impact: Spotlighting how Driven Brands franchise owners improve their communities

November 24, 2022

In honor of Small Business Saturday this year, Driven Brands is proud to highlight some of the ways that our franchisees and their employees represent small-business success within their communities.

Here are just a few stories across the Driven Brands network.

Family Matters

A small business can feel like a family. That’s especially true when the small business actually is a family. For countless franchisees, working with family members each day isn’t just a nice perk of the job – it’s exactly what they set out to do.

Mohammed Sayyah’s dream of running a family business has been going strong for 34 years. At Maaco Indianapolis, his operation includes his wife, Wafa, his son, Jay, and his two daughters, Leana and Mona. What’s more, several of his production employees are themselves family members, and he’s been in business so long that he’s now repairing the first cars of many longtime customers’ children.

“We receive a lot of positive comments from customers that they think it is nice that we can all be together as a family each day,” Mohammed says. “It is a blessing to be able to see my children so much and work alongside them.”

Working with family, through all the dynamics that business ownership offers, can be a surefire way to deepen family bonds. The father-son duo of Greg and Kenneth “KJ” Hill started working together when Greg purchased Maaco Sandy in Sandy, Utah, four years ago. For both of them, it was the first time their family relationship carried over into a workplace.

“While there were times that we both drove each other crazy,” Greg says, “our relationship has grown to that of best friends as well as father and son.”

This sense of growth and togetherness is echoed by franchisees throughout the Driven Brands network. “One of the biggest benefits of working in a family business is the sense of accomplishing something together,” says Karla Royer, co-owner of CARSTAR Little Elm in Little Elm, Texas. “Building a family business is working together on a plan for the future.”

Empowering Women

Whether family-run or not, one of the strengths of any local business is that its workforce draws from the diversity of the community around it.

The CARSTAR Torcam Group, a tight-knit family unit that owns three CARSTAR franchises in the Toronto area, is a local leader in creating diverse workplaces with women in key managerial roles.

Samantha Parsons-Lawrie, a manager and estimator for CARSTAR Brantford West, was destined to work in the car business. She grew up fixing cars at a very early age with her father, then began her career as an automotive technician before moving into auto body repair and repainting.

“I love the positive environment and supportive team whom I work with,” Samantha says. She notes that half of the shop’s customer base is women. “Having a female in that management role makes the transaction easier for them.”

Laura Torres, a co-owner in CARSTAR Torcam Group along with her husband and parents, echoes the importance of elevating women within the industry – both in terms of day-to-day operations and the bigger picture.

“I feel like having women in our business brings a fresh perspective to the customers as well as our vendor partners,” Laura says. “It also empowers women to join the industry and balance what was once a male-dominated field.”

Serving the Community

When small businesses are successful, so are their communities. Crucially, having a direct presence in the community provides a number of opportunities for these businesses to give back.

Fix Auto USA franchisee Peter Hong takes supporting his Southern California community, where he owns two Fix Auto USA locations, seriously. “We sponsor the kids’ teams for soccer and softball, we’re active in the Lions, and we support clubs like Boys and Girls Clubs,” Peter says. “We’re proud to serve those in need at Thanksgiving and help the community year-round.”

Atlanta-area Meineke Car Care franchisee Edwin Fromayan was mostly looking to diversify his personal investment portfolio when he opened his location in Marietta, Georgia, in 2021. Coming from outside the industry, he quickly learned how important people’s cars are for their family and livelihoods. Now, Edwin supports charitable activities in his community including a nonprofit that gives rides and automotive service to single mothers impacted by trauma.

Driven Brands franchise owners are showing what a truly big impact small businesses can have.

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