The portland, oregon skyline at dusk

Finding enough people willing to take on the difficult work of cleaning for hundreds of clients used to be the hardest part of Pauline Perez's job as owner and operator of PDX Cleaning, which services the metro area of Portland, Oregon. But that all changed in the last several months, reports Oregon Business.

Today, Perez is struggling to get and keep enough clients for her business to thrive. That's because the pandemic has brought with it a variety of issues. So many of the offices, restaurants and other commercial facilities PDX Cleaning used to care for don't need the help as stay-at-home orders throughout the state have relegated people to working from home and hungry and thirsty diners to order take out instead. When there is enough business at these commercial facilities and restaurants to warrant cleaning services, the competition is much more serious. That's because people formerly working in a wide variety of professions are using the times to start up a cleaning business of their own. Perez does what she can to combat the changing cleaning business landscape, but her decisions to lower cleaning fees are countered by her new competition undercutting those prices.

Luckily, COVID-19 has also helped the cleaning industry in some ways, too. The people who perform the cleaning work are beginning to get more respect, and the importance of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting has never been more understood.

Jose Barrios, owner of North Portland, Oregon-based CleanSolution Services told Oregon Business that customers are paying more attention to the bigger picture. They are now requesting preventative work instead of services that treat a facility after the fact. Businesses are also encouraging sick workers to not come into the office and are paying attention to things like the contents of the cleaning chemicals used. The request for different services helped Barrios and his company to overcome the 30 percent drop in revenue it experienced earlier in the year.

For more on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted cleaning businesses in Oregon, read the rest of Oregon Business' story here.