Editor's Note: This is the sixth in a series of short features on small businesses responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Two people have already been laid off in the midst of a 40% decline in revenue at DJ’s Auto Repair shop in Sherwood, a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We're having to step up our services now," owner Don Jackson said late Friday. “What I mean by that is we're going and picking up cars. I just got back from Ward because I had to drop a car off. I'm driving all the way from Benton to Ward to drop cars off and pick them up. This is just in one day.”
DJ’s Auto Repair, established in 1994, employs 17 people, from mechanics to the office staff. It's located at 6103 Carnegie Drive in Sherwood.
Jackson said the two laid off employees will be welcome back as soon as business picks up.
To add to Jackson’s headaches, one employee was sick and had to be tested for COVID-19 before he returned to work. His test was negative, but he was out of action for 72 hours.
The shop is sterilizing all touch points, including keys, as a safety precaution.
“So we're providing a lot of extra services that we generally don't do, that are very time consuming,” Jackson said. The shop is offering $10 oil changes to the people on the front lines of the outbreak, like first responders and health care workers, Jackson said, and helping restaurants by buying $10 gift cards as giveaway items to customers.
Jackson is putting together a delivery service for senior citizens, too, to get them things they need so they don’t have to leave their homes and risk becoming infected with COVID-19.
Automotive maintenance and repair facilities are part of a critical infrastructure industry, meaning they are being advised by the federal government to remain open during the pandemic.