Dry cleaners facing tough times as more people work from home.

Dry cleaning industry hit hard by coronavirus pandemic

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Hosea’s Cleaners has serviced the Baton Rouge community for nearly a century. Alvin Henry, who runs the business with his wife, Ramona Henry, says his dad, Hosea Henry, started the business back in 1924 in the back of their home.

"We kind of stood out in the neighborhood, and daddy's business was good back then because we supported our own because we couldn't really go anywhere else," Henry said.

Business began booming and Henry eventually took over and expanded the dry cleaning service.

“My dad put his all into it, and so did I,” said Henry.

After almost a 100 years of providing clean clothes to the community, Henry says they’re now facing one of their biggest challenges.

“The recession wasn’t nothing compared to this. We never even thought we would see something like this ever happen,” said Henry.

He says they closed their doors in March when the governor enforced a stay-at-home order due to COVID-19. They reopened after dry cleaning services were listed as essential businesses, but not everything has returned to normal.

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Henry says things have slowed down since many people no longer have a need for the service. It’s a struggle many dry cleaning businesses in the area are facing, according to Henry; some are choosing to close permanently while others fight to stay open.

“We are still struggling to just try to hold on. We are barely paying utilities and phone bills and stuff for now,” he said.

Henry says with only a few customers each day, they have removed some of their services and are finding new ways to keep employees paid, like selling masks made by their seamstresses.

Henry says even dropping off one or two pieces to your local cleaners can help save a dry cleaning business and the people they employee.

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