Cheltenham couple’s cleaning business struggles as homes, offices close their doors

Paul Kurtz
March 27, 2020 - 5:06 pm
Small business owners Jim and Bonnie Davolos.

Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Cheltenham couple are among many small business owners who have been financially hammered by the coronavirus shut down. 

Jim and Bonnie Davolos have been getting the same message from many of their customers: Come back when it’s safe

“They don’t want us in their house. They figure they’re not gonna have people over and their kids are home,” said Bonnie Davolos. 

Their 21-year home and office cleaning business is down more than 40% this month, forcing the couple to lay off staff. But the Davolos’ say they’re hanging in, thanks in part to the support of some longtime clients.

“I just got one saying they’re going to mail a check but please don’t come to the next cleaning,” she said. “I try to say we’re not taking payments for canceled cleanings, but some people want to do it just to help out.”

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And the office side of the business is still fairly solid.

“Because businesses want to stay open and in order for that to happen, they have to provide a sanitary environment for their workers, so they’re willing to pay us to come in and make the place look like a hospital or better than a hospital,” Jim Davolos said. 

The couple also has some advice for fighting the virus: wipe everything down. 

“You know, you touch everything: door knobs, banisters, light switches, countertops where you might lightly brush your finger. Just be conscious of where your hands are,” Bonnie Davolos said.

If you go shopping at the grocery store, she believes it’s not overkill to return home with the mindset that you’ve been contaminated.

"Because you’re leaning up against counters that people have touched. So when you come home, take your clothes off, your shoes off and put them in the laundry," she said. 

Like every other mom and pop owner, the Davolos’ are hoping that business returns to normal much sooner than experts have projected.