MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —  Less steam is making its way through Prestige Cleaning Center these days.

After 32 years in business, owner Tad Peterson says, “it kind of feels like we’re starting over.”

The changes to how we work have changed what we wear.

“So many people are working from home,” Peterson explained. “They’re not wearing their dress shirts, their suits, dresses, their business attire. They don’t need to be going to the dry cleaners every week which is of course hurting us.”

Peterson’s talked with fellow dry cleaners — he says they’re all down 55 to 65 percent in sales versus last year.

Regulars like Karen Law are doing what they can to help.

“Dress shirts for my husband, casual clothing and my work clothing,” she said.

Pre-COVID, Law typically spent $400 dollars a month here. Now, it’s half of that.

“It’s less frequent,” she explained. “It’s not the same load.”

Tad is blunt about the situation.

“We need your help during these times. It’s just been a rough ride.”

Bringing in blankets, sweaters, regular loads of laundry to be washed — he says every piece counts.

Law will continue to do her part. She doesn’t want to see the community staple gone.

“I’m hoping we’ll return back to a time when we’re all back in our offices and supporting our local businesses like we used to,” Law added.

The business owner says men’s dress shirts are where he’s been hardest hit. They used to clean nearly 3-thousand in a typical week.

Now it’s down to six or seven hundred.

David Schuman