Amina closed its lobby, instituted touchless dropoff/pickup, and disinfects all vehicles before and after service to minimize risks to employees and customers. Still, by the last week in April, Mouaddine expected his lot to be empty for the first time in years as all the long-term projects he and his staff were working on get finished.
Though he always runs a lean business model, Mouaddine is drawing on his reserves to keep staff on the payroll for as long as possible. “They’re getting paid, even if we don’t have the volume to justify the cost ….I can’t in good conscience send someone home at this time.” As a small business owner, he also knows how hard it is to assemble just the right mix of skills and personalities to run his own shop, and he doesn’t want to risk losing anyone.
Despite the challenges, Mouaddine has faith that his business and others will rebound in time. “I know that people are terrified and I know people are in a limbo right now…but this was a good wakeup call so we can shift our attention to what matters the most,” he says. “We are going to get through this, and life will return to something like normal. People who don’t have any safety nets are going to suffer, but I believe as a community, we can offer some help to other people until life gets back to normal.”
A Moroccan émigré, Mouaddine especially understands the struggles of neighbors in the immigrant and refugee communities, and serves on the board of the nonprofit Village Exchange Center (Click for VEC story). Mouaddine buys and repairs vehicles that VEC lends to families in need for six months, until they are able to buy a vehicle.
Amina Auto Repair is located at 9650 E. 25th Ave. in Aurora, near the Stanley Marketplace. Call 303-321-8880 or visit aminaautorepair.com.