New York Fil-Am-owned laundry delivery business thriving in pandemic

NEW YORK — With New Yorkers hunkered down in their own homes, as the coronavirus death toll in New York rose to more than 2300 as of Thursday, businesses that depend on foot traffic such as coin-operated laundromats have closed shop and will probably remain closed for the rest of the self-isolation period.

But there’s one business still standing: Juliette Laundry – a 24-hour, app-based laundry business in the Upper West Side neighborhood — owned by Fil-Am Rechelle Balanzat.

“We are seeing a slight uptick in acquiring new clients. Some people are reaching out to us, because their cleaners have shutdown. So I picked up new clients, not only in Upper West but in downtown Manhattan, midtown Manhattan because the cleaners in their neighborhood have shutdown.”

To date, nearly 10 million U.S. workers have filed for unemployment benefits nationwide.

Balanzat said she is keeping her business open, not only to keep her employees from becoming part of that unprecedented statistic — but to also keep serving the needs of front line emergency workers who do not own in-unit laundry facilities in their own homes.

“Now we’re dealing with stressed-out clients, some of them are doctors at the hospitals, they’re stressed out and we’re dealing with that — so I decided to offer our services to all first responders, for all officers, doctors and nurses.”

And it’s safe and convenient.

“We have reorganized our operations so that there is little to no human contact, we’re strictly pickup and delivery, unless clients choose to come and deliver and drop off clothes to our store. But we’re picking up from their doorman or from outside their apartment door.”

Despite the bleak business outlook when it comes to the economy, Balanzat sees hope and opportunity.

“Even though it is challenging right now, these moments are defining, and you have the chance to really discover your hidden strengths… and access your imagination for creative solutions. This is an opportunity, so long as you have that positive mindset and positive perspective.”

The uncertainty in the business world will most likely continue — as health experts call for residents to keep staying at home to stop the spread of the virus, at least until the end of the month, or until further notice.

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  • Mario
    4 April 2020 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    This is what I learned from CARE HOME operators. If you go out from work, leave extra cloths or Bathroom GOWN into your garage. Once you come home from shopping, from work, go to your garage, leave shoes, change clothes, wear gown go straight into the bathroom and take a shower immediately, remember to wash your HAIR. Then go back to your garage, old clothes into the laundry bag, but remember the CV19 virus remain active in hard surface within 3 days. Spray shoes with Soap and water or Clorox.