Sun | Dec 11, 2016

Deportee makes 'clean' start with car wash business

Published:Saturday | January 31, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer

PORT ANTONIO, Portland:

WHEN COURTNEY Fisher got deported from the United States of America in 2012, he took the decision to make something of his life so as to be independent while providing employment to youth.

It was upon arriving in Jamaica on a flight from the US that Fisher pondered on the idea of operating a car wash, which was familiar territory for him. However, finding a suitable location was a challenge.

"Back in the US, I made some bad choices, but the reality was that I was heading back to my country of birth, and I had to do something progressive as my back was against the wall. Shortly after, I hooked up with a friend of mine, a fellow deportee. He, at the time, was operating a restaurant and bar. My friend, who was happy to see me, took me to a spot just outside the Boundbrook Wharf in Port Antonio, and shortly after, I commenced construction after obtaining a lease."

Initial investment

Construction was completed in 2013 and Fisher recounted that he also spent a tidy sum on advertising and promotions. By mid-2014, his car wash started reaping the benefits with overwhelming support from taxi operators, politicians, the police, and other civil servants, doctors, and mini-bus operators.

Fisher also explained that his girlfriend, Samie-Joe Reid, who still resides in the US, was a tower of strength behind the growth and success of the car wash business as she supported him during the rough periods.

The car wash also provides employment to five youngsters who are between the age of 17 and 25 years.

"It's a good feeling to be able to contribute to the lives of these youngsters. They are very much like my own sons, and they are hardworking and committed to their job ... . Today, I am making something of my life and I am urging young men and women who might have been deported to do something meaningful and positive with their lives. People will forever say things about you, but only you can make a difference in your life. I thank God for a second chance."

rural@gleanerjm.com