Fil-Am's laundry delivery business in New York thrives amid pandemic

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 03 2020 12:41 PM

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NEW YORK - Businesses that depend on foot traffic such as coin operated laundromats have closed shop and probably will remain closed for the rest of the self-isolation period due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But Filipino-American Rechelle Balanzat's business is still standing.

Juliette Laundry is a 24-hour app-based laundry business in the Upper West side neighborhood.
"We are seeing a slight uptick in acquiring new clients. Some people are reaching out to us because their cleaners have shut down. So I picked up new clients, not only in Upper West Side but in downtown Manhattan, midtown Manhattan because the cleaners in their neighborhood have shut down," said Balanzat.

To date, nearly 10 million US 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 the unprecedented statistic but to also keep serving the needs of frontline emergency workers who do not own 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," she said.

She assured that it's safe and convenient.

"We have reorganized our operations so that there is little to no human contact. Were strictly pick-up 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," she said.

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 opportunity, so long as you have that positive midset and positive perspective," she said. 

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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