Franchising Heats Up As Economy Cools Down

David Ambinder spent more than 25 years on Wall Street, most recently as a senior vice president of global support services for Lehman Brothers. When he got a pink slip last summer - just months before the investment bank filed for bankruptcy - he turned his attention to more humble endeavors: fixing up people's homes.

Ambinder, whose retirement package was hard hit by the economic downturn, dipped into savings and mortgaged his home to start a Union, New Jersey branch of a longstanding franchise called Mr. Handyman. The business sends skilled craftsmen to do a variety of household jobs ranging from installing toilets to cleaning gutters.

"It's very exciting to build a business; for me it's the right move," says Ambinder, who opened his doors in November after evaluating several franchise choices with a broker. "People aren't going to be moving and they are going to need their homes repaired. I feel there's a niche for it."

Published: February 24th, 2009

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