‘For Lease’ signs and shuttered storefronts have become a common sight as small businesses struggle to survive the pandemic. Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

‘Ugly, Ugly Time’: Work-From-Home Era Crushes U.S. Dry Cleaners

UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge was recently featured in an article covering how the pandemic has disproportionately impacted dry cleaning small businesses throughout America. One in sex have closed or gone bankrupt already, and many more won’t survive without another round of stimulus, according to the National Cleaners Association. Nationwide, the industry is likely booking only half the $7 billion in revenue it did pre-Covid-19, according to the NCA. More than 90% of owners aren’t taking a paycheck, and about half are paying employees out of their savings.

Dry cleaners are hardly alone in struggling during the pandemic. But while airlines and restaurants eventually will rebound as vaccines ease worries for travelers and diners, dry cleaners confront a more fundamental shift. The slump is particularly tough on Asian American entrepreneurs, as they own at least 40% of dry-cleaning businesses, according to NCA estimates. Concentration of Asian American workers in industries such as hospitality, retail and laundry service partly explained the disproportionately high level of job losses among them during the pandemic, according to research by Donald Mar of San Francisco State University and CNK Director Paul Ong.

Read the article here >>> ‘Ugly, Ugly Time’: Work-From-Home Era Crushes U.S. Dry Cleaners

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