Get to Know Leonard Maloney – JC Motors
Blog by Mia Johnson, EETG Marketing Assistant.
Leonard Maloney began his career in the motor industry as a teenager in 1981. Over time, he developed his skills in the trade. Leonard states: “At school, I was always thinking about what to do; the option was to do metal work or motor mechanics. I liked taking things apart and putting them back together, so I took a motor mechanics course”.
Over a decade later in 1996, Leonard went to a garage in Haggerston to ask if he could help out and he began working there in the evenings. The rest was history. This garage became his own and he renamed it to the well-known and much-loved JC Motors, which still trades to this present day. JC Motors’ highly trained mechanics provide a wide range of garage services. The company has been in operation for 30 years, specialising in Audi, Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda repairs.
Leonard expresses his passion for being a business owner and what he achieves through it: “By being a business owner, you feel a sense of fulfilment, knowing that you’re helping a lot of people. I try to charge them a fair price and assist them in whatever I can”.
Leonard turned to the East End Trades Guild for support when landlords placed immense pressure on his business by attempting to triple his rent. Leonard began talking to others about his situation. A lady named Mary Scott mentioned the East End Trades Guild. He began to research the Guild, and in his search, he immediately aligned with its values: “Everything that was written there is exactly what I was going through, which is when I knew that I wanted to be part of this community”. During this time, Leonard had opened a petition to aid his business, which he had sent to the Guild in hope of support.
“Very quickly, Krissie Nicolson, CEO of the East End Trades Guild, came down on her bicycle and spoke with me about the situation. I felt as if I belonged; I felt as if somebody was there and understood what I was going through. Without the East End Trades Guild, I feel like I would have gone mad. I appreciate the Guild and how much it has helped me and my business. I am part of a strong community of traders in East London now and I constantly meet new people. It’s so important to have this kind of support when going through hardships as a business owner. Developing a strong community provides a bigger platform to tell your story and to be heard, which makes sure that small businesses’ voices do not go unnoticed. The more of us there are, the more powerful we are”.
The Cultural Group is a collective of black and ethnic minority creatives. Formed by Guild members in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, it allowed us to build a community of support through a difficult period for many small businesses. Read more about how and why the Cultural Group was formed here.
Leonard joined the Cultural Group to connect with more black traders in East London: “I was happy to see black faces. I wanted to be part of the community and to hear stories from traders who are like me. I’m pleased that the Cultural Group is part of the East End Trades Guild; it has allowed me to connect with even more members of the Guild to listen and learn from other traders in the area”.
In further support, Leonard has donated to the Cultural Group Markets on numerous occasions, allowing entrepreneurs to receive an opportunity to trade at our markets, either for free or at a discounted rate. This donation has allowed us to offer spaces to traders who may have not been able to afford them otherwise and enabled us to grow our community.
Len had been actively supporting his community for a long time before his involvement with the Guild. To support young people and provide opportunities to develop their skills for their careers, Leonard provides work experience to teenagers and young adults who would like to gain experience in the motor industry, paying forward the opportunity he was given.
Over the years, JC Motors has provided over 75 young people with the opportunity to gain work experience in the motor industry through the North London College and Hackney Inspire, which is a charity with a mission to: “develop the skills, confidence and motivation of young people in Hackney and beyond.”
Currently, two young adults are gaining work experience at the garage, one of which is Bilal, who joined JC Motors through the East End Trade Guild’s participation in the Kickstart scheme, a temporary Government initiative that offered paid work placements to young adults. Bilal discovered JC Motors through the Guild almost three years ago and was offered a part-time role by Leonard, once the kickstart scheme had ended.
The other young adult who is currently supported by Leonard is Thaeygan, also known as TJ. Thaeygan adopted a similar approach to Leonard when looking for experience in the motor industry, by walking into JC Motors and simply asking Leonard if he could help out at the garage. “This was the approach that I took so, of course, we accepted Thaeygan as a volunteer at the garage. It has been roughly one and a half years since then and he still volunteers part-time, in addition to his studies”.
Volunteering at JC Motors has also helped Thaeygan develop connections with customers and people from the local area. As a result, a loyal customer of JC Motors, who owns a local pub, began speaking to Thaeygan and offered him a part-time role.
Leonard highly values how important his loyal customers are to his business and how they have helped him remain in business for decades. “It is so important to help local people in local communities. My customers have supported the business for over 30 years and promote the business to their friends and family. Children of loyal customers also use our services. I am thankful for the support that they provide, signing petitions to fight for our right to stay in business during the company’s hardship”.
Leonards’ customers spread the word to friends and family to promote his business and even send thoughtful gifts to say ‘thank you’ for his service.
“The local businessman who serves the local community needs protecting.” Leonard Maloney.
Join Len, and help build an inclusive and powerful community by becoming a Guild member here.
Leonard Maloney and his team by Mia Johnson. Bilal and TJ to Leonards left.