Resiliency of ALX: Affinitas

Resiliency of ALX: Affinitas

By Carmelita Caudle + Michael Chichester, Co-Owners

Affinitas LLC provides staffing, logistics, and janitorial services. Just months before the pandemic, we finally had momentum with staffing. We were excited to have placed eight temporary hires with a company offering consistent hours. With a bit of luck and strategic networking, we provided janitorial services for the same warehouse that our temporary staff worked. It was a slow but consistent start.

But then, business, of course, dried up as the pandemic shut everything down. We were concerned because we had a great core group of employees that we wanted to keep employed. Luckily, we were fortunate to utilize help from the government relief programs (PPP, EDIL) to pay for services to use our employees in a new way.

To survive COVID, we retooled our services. We previously offered janitorial services, but we pivoted to offer COVID disinfecting services and cleaning in addition to the janitorial services we offered for our residential and commercial locations. We trained and equipped our staff according to the CDC standards on proper COVID disinfecting procedures. We used our team to promote our new services. The team did great! They networked and landed Affinitas contracts with FedEx and Fresh Direct.

Moving into the future, we are continuing with COVID disinfecting and janitorial services. Our success in this area has allowed us to hire a full-time Business Development and Recruiting Manager to grow our staffing department. We have a combination of over 26 years in logistical services through UPS and FedEx. Affinitas has expanded its logistical footprint through tractor-trailers. Look for the Affinitas logo on 495!

'Be courageous and never be afraid to ask for what you want. '

The advice we would offer to others going through hard times is to look into government funding and utilize SBA resources. There is a wide range of loan options and grants available that may be used to assist small businesses. Also, look to partnering with other companies or even participate in a mentor program. Here you would gain valuable knowledge and experience that could catapult your business to the next level. Our final and most important advice is to be courageous and never be afraid to ask for what you want. At Affinitas, we have lived by this and often carry the mindset, 'Let's just see what happens.' We have been blessed with many opportunities by continuing our path even after being told no.

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VIP Alexandria Magazine is proud to present The Resiliency Issue. Featuring small business COVID-19 success stories, as told by the owners who lived in it, learned to pivot + survived.

You can read all of our Resiliency Stories in our digital issue HERE.

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