NewsCoronavirus

Actions

Cleaning service businesses in flux amidst COVID-19

pix cleaning.jpeg
Posted at 4:32 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 19:03:32-04

NEW YORK — Home cleaning services have been devastated amid COVID-19 but there are glimmers of hope within the commercial cleaning space.

“I know that’s it’s probably going to be a long time before people feel safe and comfortable to have people come in and do a cleaning every week,” conceded Cindy LeBow of Great Green Cleaning & Disinfecting.

LeBow has done her best to re-deploy her home cleaners across the commercial cleaning parts of her business with an emphasis on disinfecting virus contaminants like COVID-19.

“They’re having us come in 2-3 times a week,” she said. “They’re essential and they have to stay open.”

However, smaller companies that just do home cleaning in a given neighborhood do not have the option to simply move around their workforces.

NYU Stern School of Business Economist Joseph Foudy is not so sure the commercial business will make up for loss of home cleaning revenue, especially with all the offices and schools closed during the lockdown.

“I think it’ll mitigate some of the pain,” Foudy said. “Nightly disinfecting services will become popular.”

Traditionally commercial cleaning has meant only using virus-killing disinfectants in places like bathrooms. Big facilities have viewed cleaning services as drag on the bottom line.

NJ based Bravo Group Services hopes now deeper disinfecting services will be viewed as more essential in the long run.

“We believe COVID-19 has raised awareness,” said Frank Wardzinski, Bravo’s COO. “So [deep disinfecting] will require additional staff, scope and contract changes to all that to occur.”

Other commercial clears like Jersey National Cleaning warn a lot of businesses may depend on government funding and regulations in places like schools and hospitals, an area Jersey National specializes in.

“Right now money’s tight everywhere,” said Chris Panza with Jersey National. “You know it depends on what the states and federal government give to the medical facilities to help assist them.”

Making matters more complicated for smaller home cleaners is the unemployment situation. Usually, they are considered freelancers or self-employed. PIX 11 has continued to document the mess around getting benefits if you fall into those categories.