National Clothesline
April 2020
National Clothesline
Canceled. Several industry associations
have canceled major events as
measures to thwart the coronavirus
ramped up in mid-March.
Just in time. After careful study and
running a successful laundry, Colleen
Unema opened a drycleaning plant, just
in time for the arrival of COVID-19
No fear. The industry has witnessed
many store closings in the past 10 years
and now is dealing with a virus that can
directly and indirectly affect our
business. Fear us the enemy and trust
will win the day, says James Peuster.
What to do. Involve employees in
dealing with coronavirus in the
workplace, says Frank Kollman. This
includes requiring sick employees to
stay home, using hand hygiene and
etiquette for sneezing and coughing,
and cleaning surfaces that are touched
by employees and customers.
Say what you mean. Cut the sarcasm,
says Don Desrosiers. When you tell an
employee “Good job!” make sure they
know you really mean it.
Mr. Positive. He’s a loud and proud
native New Yorker who unabashedly
loves the Mets, the Giants and, well,
just about everything else including
drycleaning, the Bronx and Instagram.
Complete table of contents
of this issue
View the flipbook version here.
Along with the rest of the world, the drycleaning industry is confronting a public health threat of yet
unknown dimensions that has brought a host of rules, restrictions and advisories that have brought
most normal activities to a halt, including business as usual.
How can cleaners cope? Already struggling in the face of declining piece counts, the shuttering of
businesses and schools seriously disrupts the usual flow of customers and work, yet cleaners, who in
some cases have been designated essential businesses by governmental authorities, must carry on.
In California, several counties in the Bay Area invoked a “shelter-in-place” order, telling people to stay
home except to take care of essential errands. This means that all but essential businesses are to shut
down. Drycleaners, laundromats and laundry service providers were among a short list of businesses
deemed essential.
The list of businesses under orders to shut down and those listed as essential varies from one local to
the next and is likely to be in a state of flux for at least a while.
For cleaners trying to operate in these circumstance both the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute and the
National Cleaners Association have issued recommendations on how to proceed while ensuring the
safety of employees and customers.
“We are operating on the premise that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in stopping the
spread of COVID 19,” said NCA. “It is estimated that for every person testing positive for the virus,
there are five to ten people carrying the virus without knowledge. Just following the arithmetic, the
chances are reasonable that one of your customers could have the virus. Since you don’t know who that
customer may be, we recommend taking all the precautions necessary to protect your team and your
Cleaners face coronavirus challange
Coronavirus updates
 Click here for a report on James Peuster’s March 25 webinar on what he
sees happening in the industry.
Click here for Frank Kollman’s summary of the federal Coronavirus Aid,
Relief, and Economic Security Act.