CLEVELAND — Many businesses have been implementing surcharges to offset the rising costs of PPE supplies and food, plus increased sanitizing procedures.
But some of these companies have spent tens of thousands of dollars just to keep customers and employees safe.
For example, Fitness Together, a personal training facility with several locations in Northeast Ohio, has had their carpets disinfected at 220 degrees to kill viruses, and has bought mountains of sanitizing products at a cost of more than $10,000 a year.
Hospitality Restaurants, which owns Salmon Dave’s and Blue Point Grille among others, is using a hi-tech germ repellent system called MicroShield 360 to protect all of their surfaces. It comes at a cost of $5,000 per every 10,000 square feet.
And at Revital Med Spa in Westlake, they’ve spent $30,000 to get their facility ready.
Medical Director, Dr. Jakleen Labbad, said they’ve purchased several hi-tech devices like “The Molecule," an air sanitizer which clears particles smaller than COVID-19, as well as UV lamps which they use to radiate all of the rooms after they’re used.
Employees check every customer’s temperature with a no-touch infrared thermometer before they enter, and they check them out wirelessly behind a newly installed plastic barrier. There is no cash or credit cards exchanged. And, they've nearly doubled the staff to handle all these safety measures
Dr. Labbad told us, "We have to assume that all of us have it (the virus) in order to be part of the solution.”
And she pointed out that they are spending an exorbitant amount of money on PPE. "We used to get a box of surgical masks for maybe $10, and it's tripled and quadrupled in price because of the lack of equipment availability,” she explained.
It's been the same for the Portage Area Regional Transit Authority, which spent more than $14,000 through May to protect passengers and riders.
Kelly Jurisch, PARTA Chief of Staff said the company has provided all employees with PPE kits that contain gloves and masks; both the washable and N95 surgical types.
They’ve equipped buses with atomizers to disinfect high touch surfaces after each passenger. And staffing shifts are now one week on, one week off to keep employees healthy.
And these are employees who come in contact with a lot of high-risk people according to Claudia Amrhein, PARTA General Manager. "We serve those who need lifeline services, dialysis, and those essential workers who are going to the grocery stores, to the hospitals, to the nursing homes, making sure that the goods and services and food that everyone relies on is there for them,” she said.
And like other companies which have gone to these lengths, that money is also a lifeline for the economy, which needs to get back to business as well.
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