A CLEANING company on the frontline of the battle to contain the coronavirus outbreak has called on small businesses to pull together to ensure they all survive.

Mellor-based The Helping Hands Group Ltd has seen a rapid increase in clients since the outbreak of COVID-19, with companies trying to ensure their premises remain infection free.

Business manager Emma Dewhurst has called on all businesses to support each other to ensure they can continue to trade in what she describes as uncertain times.

She said: “We are all pulling together and gearing up here to continue to support all our domestic and commercial clients across Lancashire. All our staff are being very positive towards the situation and are on board with our concerns as a small business in this time of uncertainty.

“The demand from new clients is ongoing and rapidly increasing at the moment. For example one of our new clients, that started this week, has opted for twice-daily cleaning to support their current in-house cleaners.

“They have requested a bespoke clean to ‘touchpoint areas’ across their whole site, in the middle of their working day, to sanitise work stations and communal areas including door handles etc.

“This has ensured that they can continue to operate day to day, while also reassuring staff that protective measures are being taken to ensure their welfare. This particular site plays a vital role in the support of multiple schools across Lancashire and their teachers," she said.

“Though there are no limitations on the type of businesses that we support, we have vast experience and have completed bespoke deep cleans in multiple schools across Lancashire, and our teams are geared up and ready to be deployed as required.

“Obviously the current situation has put pressure on our business and the fact that this all seems to have taken over in such a short period of time, causing an atmosphere of panic and confusion.

“We think that the mentality of people, and how they respond to this new threat, plays a critical role in the survival of a lot of small businesses in Lancashire, and we all need to pull together to work through this.”

Ms Dewhurst said The Helping Hands Group, which was founded in 1999 and has 35 members of staff, has been in contact with all its existing business clients to offer its support to ensure they are able to trade. The offer was also being extended to all businesses across the county.

She said: “We are continuing to support our local suppliers, in both our work and home life, and hope that people in Lancashire do the same.

“We are geared and stocked up here in our office with all the necessary personal protective equipment, should our clients request this or should we deem it necessary.

"For example, should we be asked to deep clean and sanitise an area such as an office/school, suspected or not of being contaminated, we have staff on standby and everything we could possibly need, from products to face masks.

“It is so heartbreaking to see, both as an individual and also with my involvement in running our small business, that hard-working people who have built up their business over so many years have had their world turned upside down practically overnight."