coronavirus pandemic

Downtown LA Cleaning Service Faces a Crisis as Offices Go Unoccupied

The business levels are still down since many offices have continued to keep their employees work from home.

Oranges & Lemons

This is part of a series of reports featuring Southern California businesses and the challenges they face during the coronavirus pandemic.

The cleaning industry is taking a big hit as many people are working from home due to the pandemic.

Offices aren't occupied and don't need to be cleaned. This has created a problem for Oranges & Lemons, a small, family-run business based in downtown LA offering cleaning services to creative businesses and lofts. The business was founded in 2008 and has 16 employees.

"When the stay at home order took effect, many of our clients switched to working at home and no longer needed cleaning services," Melanie Garcia, manager at Oranges & Lemons, said. "Our business dropped by over 50%."

"We were fortunate to receive a PPP loan and a grant from LA County. We have used 100% of the PPP to cover payroll while our business has been down. The LA County grant allowed us to pay rent and buy new disinfection equipment," Garcia said.

She said they are continuing to pay their teams as much as possible so they can continue to support their families, but this will be more difficult.

Oranges & Lemons team members are using masks, protective eye wear and using gloves for their work since early March.

"Our work has always been socially distant because we usually complete our work when no other workers are present," Garcia said. "We have provided our teams with training to keep them safe and have been certified by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council."

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