Flu exhausting coffers of local business

Posted at 8:02 PM, Jan 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-11 20:02:38-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Filthy floors and cluttered kitchens Molly Maid can handle, but their team of cleaners and products are no match for the flu.

Sick customers are calling and cancelling every day and that is bad news for owner Clint Graviet’s bottom line.

“It’s been worse than normal,” Clint says. “Most people call and say, ‘You don’t want to be here. Our house is down and out.’”

At La Bella Dona Skin Care and Spa Nansey Cardone’s customers are putting their pedicures on pause. The flu is keeping some appointment rooms empty during what is traditionally a slow to begin with.  

“This week alone we’ve had 22 cancellations,” Nansey says. “The customers who cancel feel bad, but we don’t want them here either if they’re not feeling up to par.”

At VCU Medical Center Doctor Ralph Clark started seeing patients about one month earlier this year. Dr. Clark says people with symptoms are making the right call staying home.

“10 to 12 patients a day are being diagnosed with the flu,” says Dr. Clark. “It is a relatively typical season in terms of numbers for the flu. The issue is that it is early.”

Back at Molly Maid, Clint Graviet says the flu is wiping away business he will never get back.

Clint says, “If you lose ten customers a week that is $1000 we lose.”

As for Nancy Cardone, she says the flu is one customer who is not invited back to her spa.

“I’m very excited for it to be over and then it will be summer, but we’ve lost so much. That is something you don’t get back.”

Doctors say to help prevent the spread of flu you should wash your hands regularly.

It is also not too late to get the flu shot, but doctors say remember that it takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to work.