North Carolina Association of Launderers and Cleaners

The Source of Official Information for NCALC. 4819 Emperor Blvd., Suite 400, Durham, NC 27703. • 919-313-4542 E-mail: NCALC

 

January

2021


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Events


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Important Dates

All of these upcoming events are open to NCALC members and friends. Advance registration is usually required for the NCALC events. Mark your calendars and plan to participate. Watch your email and the website (www.ncalc.org) for details.


January 29, 2021 – NCALC 2021 Winter Meeting

(Includes Board and Committee Meetings, other details to follow.)

Virtual via Zoom (in response to COVID-19)


April 30- May 2, 2021 – NCALC 2021 Spring Meeting

Blockade Runner Beach Resort

275 Waynick Blvd.

Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480



Carolina Clean

Newsletter


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Our Values


Integrity

We will do the right thing, be honest and fair in our dealings with each other and the public, and deserving of the trust of others.


Leadership

We will be examples and encourage others to strive for excellence and advocate for and serve the greater good in our actions.


Teamwork

We gain strength, momentum and support in our business, families, and our association by the collective deliberation of all participants.


Learning

We understand that learning (gaining knowledge) is a life-long, every day requirement for continuous improvement in each of our local businesses.


Passion

We approach our industry which is our livelihood, with contagious enthusiasm, excitement, and devotion to our membership, our employees, customers, and communities.




President’s Message

Moving Forward


Happy New Year, and greetings from the beautiful South Brunswick Islands of North Carolina. It has only been a couple of months since my last communication, but so much has happened. Just after the last issue of the Carolina Clean went to print, my daughter, wife, and myself were diagnosed with Covid-19. They both recovered quickly, but it hit me a little harder than I thought it would. Please continue to exercise caution at work as well as when you are around your families. This is a serious virus and must be treated with respect. The vaccine has now been released and is being distributed throughout the world. My hope is that with the vaccine, our economy will rebound and get everyone back to work within the next few months.


2020 was the year of many firsts. In October, NCALC held its first virtual Zoom Convention. We had a good representation from the board, including four new first time board members. They are all relatively new to NCALC and I commend them on stepping up to the task.  I am excited about them joining us because I know they will bring fresh new ideas to our Association that will positively affect our industry, as well as our association.


Also, joining our NCALC Associate Member team for the first time are two companies, Douglas Furs of Charlotte, and Raleigh, along with Kleerwite Chemicals. We were honored to have some excellent speakers for our convention that brought us up to date on the state of the Drycleaning industry. DLI never disappoints in having the most current information about what is going on in Fabricare. Thank you, Mary Scalco, Jon Meijer, and Peter Blake.

I am looking forward to our next Zoom Board Meeting that will be held on Friday January 29, 2021.


As we enter in to 2021, I am excited about what the future holds for us as business leaders in our communities. We are being watched by the public and our customers in how we handle this economic disaster that blindsided everyone.   I reflect on how North Carolina dry cleaners have survived during this past year. Many have had to make drastic changes in how they conduct business and manage their day-to-day operations.


I talk to cleaners every week that are back on the spotting board. They are pressing shirts or pants. They are back on their front counter or filling in for a manager that has had to quarantine due to an exposure with a family member. Some have closed pick-up stores because it was not cost effective to keep it open, or a landlord was not willing to renegotiate a lease, even though that cleaner has been a viable and loyal tenant for 30-40 years. Routes became the new pick-up store.


Yes, it has been tough for everyone, but I continue to be so impressed at how resilient we are as an industry. We are not afraid of a little hard work. We are willing to roll up our sleeves and do whatever it takes to secure a clean and bright future for our families, customers and the drycleaning industry. Until next time.


Allan Cheatham

NCALC President

Shallotte Cleaners, Owner

(m)910-612-5202

(o)910-754-4435




Help Is On the Way


As of this writing, the COVID impact statistics for North Carolina are still going in the wrong direction. We are likely to have to deal with this pandemic for some time to come. However, members of the North Carolina Association of Launderers and Cleaners (NCALC) have been resilient and are making the necessary adjustments to survive and finding ways to innovate and thrive again.

The Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has urged residents to take immediate action to use masks and maintain physical distance, stay home, avoid gatherings with individuals you do not live with, assume you have been infected if you have been gathering with individuals you do not live with, utilize testing and contact tracing to protect against further spread, get a flu shot, and get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you. The new COVID vaccines provide a promising long-term defense against the virus and people are beginning to receive these vaccines. However, current indications are that the vaccines will not be widely deployed until at least mid-2021. While we wait for the majority of residents to be vaccinated, we must remain vigilant in our use of all other safety measures.

In the meantime, life and business must go on. At the request of NCALC, launderers and cleaners have been deemed by the State of North Carolina to provide essential services and can legally continue their operations. However, continued operations are not without many challenges. NCALC members have taken steps to protect the safety and health of their employees and their customers. They have adapted their business operations to better align with the current demands for their services. Many businesses have had to make painful reductions in operations and staff, just to remain viable. Like other businesses, launderers and cleaners must manage their businesses with worker absences due to COVID related illnesses of the employee or their family members. This often means individual employees (including owners) must be flexible, learn new jobs, and perform different assignments to fill in for absentees and keep work flowing.


The Congress and the North Carolina General Assembly have acknowledged the extreme financial burden that businesses and workers are enduring due to the work slowdowns and restrictions associated with COVID. They have already passed legislation enabling substantial financial relief programs and are expected to continue to explore other ways to help everyone get through the pandemic and to help the overall economy recover. Launderers and cleaners have had to master a myriad of rules associated with these relief programs.

Many businesses have gone beyond simply realigning their existing business to address the COVID related challenges. The innovative ones are looking at new or expanded business strategies to help their businesses survive until they can thrive again. With many people working from home, they may not need as much dry-cleaning. However, they may have greater interest in wash-dry-fold service. They may have interest in other cleaning services. Many customers have continuing safety concerns and they are still very reluctant to personally go to the cleaners. They may welcome contactless pick-up and delivery, even though they have never used this service. Launderers and cleaners have been required to enhance and increase the communications to inform their customers of the services they may find useful. In some cases, they have had to learn and employ new technologies to accomplish the needed communications.


NCALC and our affiliate Drycleaning and Laundry Institute (DLI), have increased their efforts to help members share experiences and employ best practices for working through the challenges of the pandemic and the on-going operation of their businesses. Many opportunities are offered for peer-to-peer professional networking to discuss any concerns and questions. Webinars are being offered on a wide range of topics related to the management of your businesses. (See pages 8 and 6 for more information.)


Many analogies have been used to describe what we are experiencing with the COVID pandemic. One might be a scenario with wildfires (of COVID, in our case) still burning and spreading, but having news that the fire departments (e.g., vaccines, financial relief, and support from our association) are on the way. Even with the knowledge of help on the way, we cannot stop fighting the fire. While we know that COVID is bad, we have learned that we can do many things to stay safe, maintain or enhance our operations until the pandemic subsides. So, heed the health and safety guidance from the experts, be ready to get your vaccine when it is your turn, take care of your customers and employees, and work with your association to explore creative ways to improve your services and increase your profitability