NYC laundromats close due to COVID-19 struggles

Posted at 5:38 PM, Apr 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 17:54:35-04

NEW YORK — Laundromats are essential businesses that are allowed to stay open even while stay at home orders are in place, but many of them are starting to close too because they just can’t afford to stay open with limited customers.

Thaddeus McDaniels is the owner of Liberty Avenue Laundromat in Richmond Hill, Queens.

He told PIX11 Saturday, social distancing is strictly enforced inside of his self-service laundry facility - including when clothes are spinning in soap and water and when they’re drying.

”You could only be allowed in the store when you’re loading or unloading your machine and we’re not allowing any folding so that will allow social distancing from happening.“

But there are other laundromats around NYC that are choosing to close during this covid-19 pandemic - some because they’re smaller and social distancing is harder, and, others, because business is so slow owners can’t afford to stay open.

Back in Queens, while many customers are wearing masks and gloves while doing their laundry, McDaniels admits enforcing social distancing has been challenging for the few who aren’t taking it seriously.

“They want to stand around while their clothes are washing, we understand and normal circumstance we can do that.”

Still, he told PIX11, business has been steady and he’s happy he’s still able to provide an essential service to the community during this coronavirus crisis.

“We’re glad we are able to do this - our employees still have a job, we’re not sending them home with no pay,” he said.

“We’re hoping we’re playing our part in stopping the spread.”