(FOX 2) – Many restaurant owners have been speaking out in recent weeks about how tightened COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining have put serious financial strain on business. And other business owners are also feeling the financial stress, though not from COVID-19 restrictions.
But the complete lifestyle change that COVID-19 has caused has really affected the dry cleaning business.
“The dry cleaning industry – or my business – basically has almost disappeared,” said Amit Bhatia, owner of GM Dry Cleaners.
As more and more events are canceled or turn virtual, and more companies are keeping their employees home, the need for clothing to be cleaned professionally is dwindling.
“Why would you need your slacks if you’re working from home in your sweats?” Bhatia said. “Eighty percent of our business has disappeared since COVID.”
From West Bloomfield to Farmington Hills, FOX 2 talked to another dry cleaning company that’s seeing a decline in business.
“It’s dropped to more than 60 %. It is bad,” said Mazin Maizy, co-owner of Summer Cleaners. “The problem is we still have to pay rent, we still have to pay all these expenses.”
Hoping to beat the drought, Bhatia is reminding customers of other services that dry cleaners like his typically offer.
“We do things such as comforters, shoe repair or alterations,” he said. “We do offer free pick up or delivery services right to your home so you don’t have to leave during this challenging time.”
But both business owners admit these extra services won’t help them survive.
“I’m one of them that’s just hanging on by a thin thread that, you know, I don’t know what my future looks like,” Bhatia said.
He’s hoping a coronavirus vaccine will get workers back in the office and on the job. But for now, they’re also hoping the federal government will step in and help them out.
“Without help, we cannot survive,” Maizy said.
“I don’t know how to survive at this point without assistance,” Bhatia said.