For more than 16 years I have served as president of Spencer Commercial Cleaning, a family-owned company serving our customers and the community for more than 40 years by providing daily cleaning and disinfecting via our janitorial and porter services, along with vacancy, construction, and emergency clean-up options. As such, I’m always thinking of new ways to ensure my company’s services meet the needs of my customers. For years, we have been on the front lines working to keep our clients healthy and their businesses safe. Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, keeping your workplace sanitized, and the way in which we conduct our business is more important than ever and our services are essential to ensure other businesses can reopen and operate in this challenging economy.
COVID-19 continues to impact communities throughout Missouri, and while we’ve seen dozens of businesses throughout St. Louis County close their doors for good, those of us still operating are making changes to the way we conduct our business moving forward. We’ve updated our practices to ensure our workers abide by social distancing guidelines and have made investments in new cleaning systems that can effectively stop the spread of the virus in its tracks. Yes, times are tough right now, and we Missourians face a lot of unknowns, but as a part of this community, we’re in this fight together which is why we’ve also committed to not upselling any of our products or services.
As we enter this era of a “new normal,” part of our adaptation to the current public health crisis is changing how we get paid. Social distancing and minimal personal contact are essential to combatting the spread of COVID-19 which is why we at Spencer Commercial Cleaning are utilizing our electronic payments system. For years, we had to spend extra money on the transfer and processing of cash payments and checks. At times, we would even be left out to dry due to a check bouncing or a late payment. However, thanks to the electronic payments system, now we can guarantee payment at the point of sale while also ensuring the safety of our employees and customers during the transaction. This service is especially important with our new, or one-time service clients for treatment of active COVID-19 exposure via electrostatic disinfectant sprays, or preventative spraying and disinfecting as businesses re-open. Small businesses live and die by their cash flow, and any time we can turn around and almost immediately put that cash back into our business and employees without waiting days, or longer, it is a no brainer, and electronic payments let me do just that.
If I did not think electronic payments had value, we would not pay for them. But most importantly, we only pay the fee when my company makes a sale, and that small fee is used to make my electronic payments system more efficient and secure for my customers and business. However, if the effort to cap fees succeeds, my business will suffer leaving customer data at risk and my company at another disadvantage against big business.
Over the course of just four months, the world as we once knew it has been flipped upside down. It’s during times like these that we must come together as communities and a country to overcome hardship and adversity. We must also build upon new trends and innovation such as electronic payments that have become central in our daily lives and are now a staple of commerce. It is not the time for heavy-handed government mandates telling me what is best for my business, and I hope lawmakers will take a stand and advocate for small businesses like mine, instead of large corporate interests.
Scott Bader is the president of Spencer Commercial Cleaning, a family business that has operated in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area and St. Charles for more than 40 years.