Zoom Express Car Washes refused to shut down.
The car wash, with locations in Mayfield Heights, Avon, Brook Park, Stow and Twinsburg, was designated a nonessential business and was forced to close March 28.
“We closed our facilities at the busiest time of the year,” Scott Soble, a partner in Zoom Express Car Washes, said in an email. “Obviously, asking any business to close is a very stressful situation. We had just opened two sites (in Avon and Brook Park) and barely made our first payment to the bank. Fortunately, our bank was very accommodating, which took a lot of the pressure off.”
Zoom Express Car Washes took advantage of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine offering a dispute resolution commission, where businesses deemed nonessential by one local health department, but essential by another, could appeal the claim.
“After we went through their process, we were reclassified as an essential business and able to reopen with strict guidelines in place for operation,” said Soble, a Solon resident and member of The Shul in Pepper Pike.
The car washes reopened April 13 after excessive cleaning and a creation of strict safety protocols to protect the health of staff and customers, he said.
Despite being out of business for a little more than two weeks, Zoom didn’t lay off employees and the staff never missed a paycheck.
“We knew it might be painful for a while, but failure was not in our conversation,” said Soble, who owns the car wash with his brother, David Soble. “Going through this has made us a better-run company.”
From masks and social distancing to sanitation and cleaning schedules, Zoom is adamant to keep everyone who visits healthy, Soble said. He remains positive Zoom’s struggles will be temporary and that the car washes will be back to their sudsy glory.
“We are fortunate, and we will bounce back,” Soble said. “Thankfully, our customers can’t get a virtual car wash over the internet. We are so appreciative of the loyalty of our customers and our staff. Everyone has been so understanding and supportive.”
Soble and Zoom Express Car Wash refused to only find the negatives of running a business during a pandemic, he said.
“We have learned that you can’t take things for granted in business, because it can be gone in the blink of an eye,” Soble said. “In our business, the weather was always the difference between good and bad months, not a pandemic. Nobody could ever have dreamed up COVID-19, but it is a nightmare scenario for the country and the world. We are hopefully all moving in the right direction to get back close to a new normal.”