Giant work-from-home tech companies and package-food sellers aren’t the only businesses helping those in the U.S. navigate the coronavirus pandemic. There are countless small businesses — despite the shutdown economy — stepping up to join the fight against the deadly disease.
On Thursday, Yahoo Finance spoke to commercial cleaning outfit Enviro-Master.
Founded ironically during the Great Recession in 2009 by life-long entrepreneur and commercial hygiene expert Pat Swisher, Enviro-Master uses a franchise business model to service restaurants, retailers and office buildings. According to its website, Enviro-Master provides weekly health and safety services to more than 30,000 customers. Enviro-Master services 250 national brands — including Chick-fil-A — across North America and claims to add almost 1,000 new clients each month.
The cost to start an Enviro-Master franchise could run between $180,000 to $325,000. You would need a minimum net worth of $350,000 and liquid assets of $70,000.
Using a device it calls a Virus Vaporizer (an electrostatic sprayer Swishers said it has used for a decade to fight norovirus, the flu and viruses like coronavirus) that houses various cleaning chemicals, Enviro-Master claims it could blast away viruses.
Swisher tells Yahoo Finance that his franchisee owners and their employees have seen a major uptick in business amid calls to come and disinfect office space and other buildings.
“We are very fortunate that this crisis has increased our business, we are one of the few businesses out there that could say that. Year-over-year our business is up over 890%. In the last two weeks, we have added over 5,000 essential service type businesses to our customer base,’ Swisher said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.
No supply shortage here
Swisher said his firm hasn’t had trouble getting supplies like cleaning solution despite the nation stocking up at home and at offices. Enviro-Master is now ordering 20,000 gallons of cleaning solution a month to help service its higher demand.
“One thing in the marketplace I am seeing is hand soap running out. Customers keep calling us saying they can’t get hand soap. We have had no problem supplying that to our customers,” Swisher said.
Swisher adds that many of his franchisees have applied for funds from the new government stimulus program. But, they have yet to receive those funds.
“I have heard from some of my employees they have had checks deposited into their account. But we are talking about SBA loans to help businesses, and they haven’t seen that money arrive yet,” said Swisher.