GIVING NEW MEANING to CLEAN
How Carter's Cleaning Service Responded to the Pandemic
Prior to 2020, many likely took a “clean” space for granted. Surfaces were wiped down, floors vacuumed and mopped, tables dusted. It was all routine until suddenly it was more. It was a necessity and even an emergency, once a space became infected.
For Marc Carter, Director of Operations at Carter’s Cleaning Service, the beginning of the pandemic looked like a possible business shut down. The company, which was founded in 1998, was facing a “no entry” world. Spaces his workers used to occupy for cleaning were shut down out of fear of spreading the virus. In fact, Marc and his sister were the only employees working for the company for a couple of months until he decided to take a leap of faith and become part of the solution.
“We took a big leap of faith and invested heavily in sanitizing equipment,” said Marc. “It was equipment we never used before and, for us, it was a large amount of money to spend in a time when our business was seeming to dwindle. But once businesses began to realize the importance of deeper cleaning during the pandemic, our phones started ringing off the hook. To date, we’ve sanitized more than 1.25 million square feet and treated over 150 COVID-exposed spaces.”
Since March of 2020, Carter’s Cleaning Service has tripled their business. The company, a PPP loan recipient through Amy Harris, a Griffin lender at United Bank, now has eight employees and does roughly 90 home cleanings and 140 commercial cleanings per month. Though his residential accounts are down about 20 percent, the commercial side of the business has increased by 200 percent.
The electrostatic sanitizing equipment Marc purchased is now in regular use in many offices, including United Bank’s branches, operational departments and annexes. The machines create a positive ion energy in the water so that when sprayed, the sanitization can coat all items with a negative charge, which is essentially all surfaces in offices and houses. The machines create a mist that floats and lands into cracks and crevices not easily reached, such as the spaces between keys on a keyboard or the area around a door knob. Another advantage is that the person using the machine never even has to touch the surface to make sure it is clean.
“The safety of my employees is my top priority,” said Marc. “These machines let us do our jobs while making sure we stay safe as well. It also gives our customer peace of mind that their space is as clean and sanitary as possible.”
Carter’s Cleaning Service employees are required to wear visors, masks and gloves for every job. Marc also has 50 hazmat suits ready for extreme cases.
When asked how Marc coped with the increased workload during the pandemic, he said he sacrificed a lot of sleep and his team really stepped in to get the job done.
“We have people working all the time, and we are always ready to take that next phone call,” he said. “We know people need to lean on us right now and we want them to know we are here for them.”
Carter’s now places even more emphasis on sanitizing all of the equipment in between jobs, a process that is both challenging and expensive.
“Each account has its own equipment, and everything has to be sanitized and changed out every time. That level of diligence to gives greater peace of mind to our customers but it’s also incredibly time consuming,” said Marc. It has never been as important as it is now to have a clean environment, and my team understands that. They’ve been asked time and again to do things they don’t normally do and they deliver every time.”
When asked what Marc will take from this experience, he speaks about positive, permanent changes within the community and a renewed emphasis on clean spaces.
“Cleaning is now really looked at in a new light, and I think that outlook is here to stay. That’s a good thing,” he concluded. “I’ve watched the people and businesses in the communities we serve ban together during this time to support one another. Many have lifted our small business up during this time, and for that we are forever grateful.”
Carter’s Cleaning Service was a critical partner for United Bank in 2020, and continues to be. We are sincerely grateful for their partnership in helping us keep our employees and customers safe, and allowing us keep our offices open and available for customers.