The local business still shut down with no end in sight
A STRUGGLING business owner whose operation has ground to a halt and sucked up all of his savings is confident his passion, skill, and a lifetime of experience will help get things back on track once COVID-19 restrictions ease.
Phills Detailing owner Pillip Pitt, 59, said the coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on his business.
“Even a week before the lock down hit, we were affected, I’d usually have two weeks of work lined up which didn’t happen,” Mr Pitt said.
“It was because people were worried, and car detailing is a little expensive, depending on your income of course.
“Most business comes from people wanting to sell their car, or they’ve just had a baby, and then some people just want their cars done - but with the fear of COVID-19 people decided to hold off.”
Mr Pitt said he had no choice but to shut his shop as car detailing isn’t deemed an essential service, and there has been a lack of information regarding when he’ll be able to return to work.
“It’s a hard one to know when, it’s more of a guess, the government hasn’t actually listed car detailing on any of their sites whether it be the Queensland Government or Federal Government,” he said.
“So it’s hard to know exactly where we stand, I figure we’ll be back in about a fortnight when they are opening up pubs, so it will be relatively safe to go back to work then.”
On whether the business will be able to recover from COVID-19, Mr Pitt said it is a million-dollar question, as he’s had to close his website and use saving to keep things afloat.
“The most annoying thing is that after all this, saving are almost gone,” he said.
“Like anyone with a business you have loans and equipment which comes out of your income while you’re working and some money gets saved, but when you’re not working at all savings go to paying off those things.”
Detailing motorcycles since the 80s and cars since the late 90s Mr Pitt said the standard of his work may help his business bounce back.
“I’m not too worried because my work is of the highest quality… it’s guaranteed if you don’t like the work I do you don’t have to pay me - I back myself 100%,” he said.
In the meantime, Mr Pitt said, his business will be offering to sanitise interiors to help stop the spread of COVID-19, using steam, Isopropyl Alcohol at 70 per cent, and antibacterial cleaners.
“I usually offer the service, I’ve only done it once since COVID-19 - it was a young family that had their car stolen and they just got it back from the police,” he said.
Other car detailers may be able to access financial assistance, but Mr Pitt said because he is on the disability pension he’s on his own.
“If it was the only source of income, detailers might be able to apply for government assistance, more so loans than anything,” he said.