“When you have a business with employees it's not about you. It's about your employees and their families.” -Shayne Lewton, Owner of Maintenance Chef
Value Printing is launching a series on our blog called Business Ownership During COVID-19. In this series we are exploring topics like: What are businesses doing to stay afloat right now? How are they keeping their workers and their customers safe? What advice do they have for people considering starting a business during an economic downturn? We hope that through this series we can highlight innovation, collect advice from experienced business owners, and better understand how the pandemic is impacting day-to-day life in American industry. Most of all, we hope to offer support and knowledge to the community during the pandemic. The following is our first interview for the series with Shayne Lewton. He has been in business for over 20 years.
Tell us about your business
Maintenance Chef is a full restaurant and facilities service company. We specialize in hot/cold equipment, HVAC and facility repair.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business? What if anything are you doing differently?
Maintenance Chef has been directly affected by COVID-19. When businesses are forced to shut down because of the pandemic, the work slows considerably. I had to take action as an owner. My first priority was to bring my employees back full time by applying for the PPP loan assistance. We were granted the [loan on the] second round.
I also spent months researching how to disinfect my customers’ restaurants so they could go back to work. I have found a local chemical company that provides a superior non-harsh chemical. After training and certification, our techs can now perform a ULV Fogging to kill COVID-19.
What professional advice do you have for service industry professionals/business owners during this economic downturn?
Always look forward and never give up. If you find yourself in a hole use what you have to make a shovel and dig yourself out. When you have a business with employees it's not about you. It's about your employees and their families.
What advice do you have for people considering starting a business during COVID-19/during a recession?
If you start a business, make sure you manage your funds properly. When you get ahead, save that money for a rainy day.
Are you a business owner that would like to participate in this series? Do you have a question you want to ask experienced business owners related to COVID-19 and operating a business? Write to us at: [email protected] with the subject line Business Ownership During COVID-19. We are particularly interested in interviewing minority business owners.