“Auto repair is second nature to me,” admits Jerry Mallard, owner of American Automotive Repair. “My daddy had me under a car at seven years old … I’ve been in cars ever since.”
Working beneath the hood is Jerry’s greatest hobby and professional passion. It’s also what he is best known and respected for in Missouri.
Opened in 2011, Jerry’s Branson, Mo.-based auto repair shop is billed as being “based on integrity and honest, hard-working individuals.” Of course, when it comes to hard work, nobody understands a hard day’s work better than Jerry Mallard… especially this year.
Tragically, on the morning of Feb. 29, 2012, Jerry’s thriving business was violently uprooted by a devastating force of nature. “I literally had nothing left,” he says, recalling the horrific tornado that tore through his business and his family’s financial well-being.
It was a disastrous occurrence that Jerry Mallard simply couldn’t have imagined a year earlier when he got an offer from a colleague to start a partnership in Branson.
“We were doing great,” Jerry recalls. “I took over six of his branches, reformed them, reformatted them … and then we got wiped out by the tornado. The saddest part is that I ended up losing everything because he had lapsed on the insurance.”
But Jerry’s devoted customers would not forget the caring man who provided quality, honest service in their community for as long as they could remember.
“Thankfully,” he says, “I have loyal customers that are driving 30, 45, and 60 minutes to have their vehicles serviced. That’s what keeps me afloat.”
In an effort to help his business recover and retain the clientele he’s earned, Jerry Mallard recently shared his story with Intuit.
“I lost it all to a tornado on Highway 76,” he candidly penned in his entry to the Small Business Big Wishes campaign. “All my tools and equipment were lost. I opened a small shop near home… slowly rebuilding, but am in need of an alignment rack and tire machine to complete the shop.”
“I can’t afford to buy equipment again,” he admitted in the closing line of his note, unaware that the forecast for his small business was about to include some well-deserved sunshine.
This week, Intuit selected Jerry’s wish to be granted.
“You have no idea what this is going to do. …This changes things second to none,” the humble auto repairman beamed. “It opens up a whole new world, without a doubt.”
Not missing a beat, Jerry quickly turned the focus of his good fortunes back on the supportive cast of family, friends, and clients who helped him weather the storm of a lifetime.
“Without the support of my wife and these people who have stuck by me,” he explains, “I don’t know what I would do. I’m an emotional drain running 12 hours a day right now just trying to keep the doors open.”
Thankfully for Jerry and those he serves, Intuit is helping to ensure that those doors remain open in 2013 and beyond.
Big Wishes Come True for Small Businesses
During the month of December, Intuit granted 15 big wishes to 15 deserving small businesses. Although the Small Business Big Wishes campaign has come to an end, check back soon for Intuit’s next program and perhaps your small business dream will become a reality in 2013.