We are thrilled that Dependable Cleaners is a recipient of the Jobs for New England Grant, provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston through its member banks. Dependable Cleaners President, Christa Hagearty, learned of the Jobs for New England grant through South Shore Bank. “I spoke with President and CEO James Dunphy, and he suggested that we apply. South Shore Bank made the process simple, and I received confirmation in just a few weeks,” says Hagearty.
A familiar business on the South Shore, Dependable Cleaners, like so many businesses, has been affected since COVID-19 hit. In order to generate more business throughout the crisis, Dependable Cleaners has expanded its pick up and delivery services to more locations, currently serving 35 towns around Boston, MetroWest and the South Shore. It also increased its home laundry business. “People are juggling so much: jobs, working from home, helping kids with remote school—there is less time for chores like laundry,” says Hagearty. “We pick it up, wash, dry and package it then drop it back off.”
Despite these efforts to adapt its business to pandemic conditions, Dependable Cleaners has been hit hard financially. The grant, which offers funds to small businesses who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus, will allow Dependable Cleaners to continue paying its staff. “100% of the funds will be used for employee wages,” says Hagearty. “Our team has been fantastic throughout this crisis. They are juggling all of the stressors that everyone else is and yet they’ve continued to step up. In February, we started applying increased safety protocols and the team is great about staying vigilant.”
Dependable Cleaners’ employees also created a summer reading program to ensure that kids could have education and socialization outlets. Hagearty says, “We created libraries of books that employees could take home to their kids, and we had a reading reward program with prizes. We also did socially-distanced reading circles with masks and readings over Zoom. The author Janet Costa Bates even recorded a reading of her book, "Seaside Dream," just for us. We all need a sense of feeling connected; it will take a village to get us all through this. We are so thankful to South Shore Bank and their efforts with getting us this grant. It’s an excellent example of how they help our community.”
South Shore Bank and the South Shore are grateful for Dependable Cleaner’s volunteer work and longstanding stellar service, as well. “Dependable Cleaners has been around since 1944 and is a valuable part of our South Shore community,” says Dunphy. “It’s vital that we help our local businesses survive and keep people employed.”