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As businesses prepare for reopening, local entrepreneur shares important step in the process

Megan Holmes

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The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce presents: Coronavirus Impact Insights.

On this episode of Chamber Coronavirus Impact Insights, Dontriel Lawson, founder of JAPOSID Cleaning Service joins Chris Steinocher, CEO of the St. Petersburg Chamber and Joe Hamilton, publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst to talk about his family’s entrepreneurship in St. Petersburg.

JAPOSID Cleaning Service employs 21 people in Pinellas County, and has 38 employees in other areas, including Georgia, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. JAPOSID primarily serves multi-family residential units, particularly 55+ communities, as well as office facilities, vacation properties and government facilities. Lawson says very few clients have slowed down or stopped  their service due to Covid-19, because their cleaning services are essential.

Lawson says he takes the responsibility of leading his employees and providing an essential service very seriously. He says his team considers themselves personally responsible for the buildings they clean, and explains that JAPOSID has had to do a lot of client education, teaching the difference between cleaning and disinfecting during the Covid-19 pandemic, and why both services are so important and must go hand in hand.

Lawson compares disinfecting without cleaning to putting on new clothes and spraying a perfume, instead of taking a bath. For a business to be ready to reopen, Lawson says it should both be cleaned and disinfected. He explains that business owners should be prepared to be away from their office for the cleaning and disinfecting process.

One of the most challenging parts of the Covid-19 pandemic has been its affect on the supply chain. Lawson says it has been much harder to purchase common items that JAPOSID uses for their everyday service. Some examples include a six-pack of sanitizer that would usually cost $29 now costs nearly $90. A case of 96 toilet paper rolls, which normally costs $31 has nearly doubled in price to $60. Lawson says getting gloves and eyewear has not been an issue, but ordering the crew’s usual N-95 masks has been severely backed up, raising in price from $1.80 per mask to $6.

Lawson’s advice before businesses reopen? Be conscientious about what you’re cleaning with, he says. Not every off the shelf cleaner disinfects, and it’s important to understand the time a cleaner should dwell on a surface in order to best disinfect it.

 

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