Temporary Service Suspension Extended to April 15th
Notice to All Green Clean Maine Customers
Based on the current situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the decision to extend our temporary service suspension for two more weeks, until April 15th. As we approach that date will make a determination about reinstating service.
Giving up household cleaning help right now, of all times, presents particular challenges. We are all spending lots of time in our homes, meaning they are getting more use than normal. Many of you are juggling schooling for children with work and regular family obligations. This creates more of a need, not less. Furthermore, some of our clients have physical limitations that make cleaning for themselves impossible.
I am so appreciative of your patience and understanding as we work hard to come up with a best path forward that ensures the health and safety of our employees, our customers and our community.
We are now accepting customer requests to be prioritized in service restoration. Please see “Requests for Service Restoration,” below.
Our Goals Through the Crisis
It’s important that everyone understand what our goals are as we navigate this crisis. There are three:
- Contribute to the community effort to slow the spread of the virus.
- Ensure health and safety of our staff and clients.
- Ensure long-term health and continuity of business.
Before we can fully restore service, we need to ensure we are part of the solution, and not part of the problem. We are all professional housecleaners, and as such are trained and nationally certified in routine maintenance cleaning of homes. We are not biohazard remediation specialists and are not equipped to deal with emerging viral pathogens.
Therefore, until we know more about controlling risk factors and the spread of this virus, we cannot responsibly restore service.
The good news is, the information we’ve gathered so far is promising, and I do believe that we can restore service swiftly and safely fairly soon.
How We Will Decide
I will be looking at four major indicators as we weigh the decision to restore service:
- Peak Infection: Until we are at or near peak infection, we won’t know for sure if our local hospital system will be able to bear the increased load. It will also be impossible before then to know if our healthcare professionals have all the equipment and supplies they need. I DO NOT want to draw critical equipment and supplies from the supply chain until I have some assurance that our hospitals have what they need. At present, the Maine CDC models point to peak infection for our area sometime around April 24th. This is a moving target and will be monitored daily.
- Clear direction on best practices: Guidance from the CDC has shifted significantly in the past 2 weeks. We will continue to monitor and look for areas of broad agreement across the CDC, WHO, OSHA and our own industry’s Global Biorisk Advisory Council. Consensus is emerging across sources, so our comfort level is increasing daily. This is about protecting the health and safety of our staff and of you, our customers.
- Lifting of strict stay-at-home orders. While our business is specifically cited as “essential” in the City of Portland, the state offers no guidance and nationally, the story is mixed. In harder-hit areas, residential cleaning has been shut down. In many other areas, it has been deemed essential. Quite frankly, I am of the opinion that deeming residential cleaning services “essential” is a stretch. I have substantial economic interest in going along with the “essential” designation, but for reasons stated above, I don’t believe it’s a responsible position to take at this time.
- Client need. At some point, we will all need to move forward and learn to operate in this new reality. We are making good progress. In the meantime, we will be assessing your interest/need on a case-by-case basis for when we begin to restore service.
Requests for service restoration
If you would like to be placed at the front of the list for service restoration, simply respond to this email with your request. Any details you can add about the why will help us prioritize. We have already heard from some of you and have started a list on our end.
Our intention is to restore service to all of our clients as soon as possible. My hope is that it’s not too far off! But we still need to prepare for the possibility that it could take a little time for our full schedule to return.
Offers to Continue to Pay
Many of you have come forward with offers to continue to pay for your service. This is incredibly generous and as a small business owner, humbling. In light of this, we have created two options:
- Contribute to an employee assistance fund: we have already purchased a $100 Hannaford Gift Card for every employee. Currently, the funds are being held in reserve to help employees, based on need, to bridge the gap between their last paychecks and the start of their unemployment benefits.
- Pre-pay for future service. You will get a credit on your account for the amount you request to be charged, available to you for use anytime once service is restored.
To take advantage of either option, simply respond to this email.
We also now have a blog – started by yours truly – and I hope to be updating it at least daily.
From our families to yours, thank you. Your graciousness and support has helped make a terrible situation a little brighter. We all look forward to getting back to work soon.
Yours in Happiness and Health,
Founder & General Manager