Dry cleaners feeling the pinch from COVID-19

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This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient. (NIAID/National Institutes of Health via AP)

New York, NY (CBS)-The pandemic has impacted many businesses, and one of the hardest hit, is dry cleaners.

Yale cleaners opened in Oklahoma 75 years ago, but none of that experience could prepare them for the past year. Owner John Rothrock says Americans working from home in casual wear no longer need to dry clean their work clothes, and his business is hurt because of fewer parties, weddings and other occasions to dress up.

The dry cleaning and laundry institute believes 30 percent of dry cleaners could be forced to shutdown over the next 18 months. Those who remain open, are trying to adjust.

Dawn Avery with the national cleaners association says many cleaners are now offering new services, like alterations or wash and fold for families. Yale Cleaners has adapted, by adopting technology. Customers can pay online and get a touchless pickup. The company is also offering same day delivery.

Dry cleaners hope the vaccine means there are brighter days ahead. Many are just trying to hold out until then.

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