First and foremost, we hope you are safe and in good health. In this time of unprecedented uncertainty, we thought we would share a quick update from our teams in Canada and Nepal.
Like you, we are still adjusting to our ‘new normal’. The health and well-being of our staff, partners and retailers is at the forefront of our minds, and we are investing our energy into supporting our families and communities through this crisis.
Recent events have prompted some big changes here at Laundromat – as with all businesses globally.
In Quebec, we are under a full shutdown, with all non-essential businesses closed for at least three weeks. Our staff are working from home, but our online store remains open.
For our Canadian customers, we are currently still able to ship all online orders.
For our customers in the USA, our fulfillment partner is closed until April 15, 2020, so there will be a delay in shipping.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this unknown territory. We will keep you updated via Facebook should the situation change.
Coronavirus in Nepal
As a Fair Trade, people-focused company, our chief concern is the safety and welfare of our staff. Laundromat partners with a team of artisans in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley, a part of the world that has been seriously impacted by the pandemic.
As it stands, Nepal only has 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19, but this could reflect a lack of testing. ‘Stay at home’ is the resounding message in Nepal, with schools, businesses and public venues closed, flights grounded, and limits put on ground transportation. Public gatherings are capped at 25 people, including at temples.
The streets of Kathmandu, usually buzzing with energy and activity, are now eerily quiet. As are our partner’s workshops and packing facilities, which will remain shuttered until further notice.
In the short-term, we are seriously concerned about the availability of testing and adequate medical care in Nepal. In addition, there are mounting concerns over fuel and food shortages that could potentially arise. Nepal relies on India and China for gas, cooking oil and other essentials. With land borders sealed for the foreseeable future, the potential long-term consequences could be dire.
Just as the country was starting to find its feet again after the 2015 earthquake, this is yet another major setback for Nepal’s economy. Now more than ever, Nepal needs our support and solidarity to get through this crisis.
We are monitoring the situation closely and coordinating with our partners on the ground in Kathmandu to ensure we can support them any way we can.
How you can help small businesses survive COVID-19
Small businesses like Laundromat, our production partners and many of our independent retailers in Canada and the USA are facing unprecedented challenges. While health and safety are the number one priority right now, we’re also thinking ahead to the future.
We have no doubt that we will overcome this trial by coming together as a community and rallying behind those most vulnerable.
Rest assured that all online orders made through the Laundromat store will be fulfilled as soon as possible. When the time is right and when it’s safe to do so, we also encourage you to get out and support local businesses in your area – stores like Ernie’s Sports Experts and Fair Trade Winds.
Safe wishes, and stay healthy!
Francis & The Laundromat Team