NewsCovering Colorado


Local business owner chooses to shut down rather than risk workers' health

Posted at 8:54 AM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 10:50:17-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — It came down to staying open to keep bringing in revenue or shut down to avoid the health risks. Those were the two options for cleaning company owner Noriko Carnes, whose company is considered "business critical."

"We have decided to shut our doors, and it's impacted business greatly because there is no revenue for a month," Carnes explained.

Carnes is the proud owner of Noriko's House Cleaning in Colorado Springs. It's a company that offers cleaning services to residential homes, hotels, apartments and more. Carnes started worrying when her staff began to feel uncomfortable cleaning the homes of people who were under quarantine.

"With everyone staying home, we are putting our people at risk," she said. "I put my people first because if I make my people go and clean and they're reluctant, I'm not going to have any staff."

Carnes decided to shutdown for the month of April. It's an outcome that the Colorado Chamber of Commerce is seeing among small businesses all across the state.

Dot Miller, executive director of the Association of Colorado Chambers of Commerce, says some Colorado companies are prospering during the coronavirus pandemic, while others haven't been so lucky.

"We're seeing some businesses thriving and their doing really well, all the way to it's not impacting them at all," Miller said. "Or it's to the extreme, where not only is business hurting, but they are being devastated right now and closing their doors."

Miller says statewide, Chambers of Commerce are focusing on getting small businesses, like Noriko's, into recovery mode.

"We are telling businesses to stay strong. We are going to get through this and it is incredibly hard but your local chamber of commerce is here to help get you through this."

The Colorado Chamber of Commerce is putting recovery tool kits together, for small businesses on their website. You can also sign up to listen to virtual town-hall meetings. The meetings involve panel discussions with chamber executives who can answer questions, and you can even learn how to fill out a loan application. Click here, for more information.