If the COVID-19 shutdown didn’t kill your business, trying to reopen might

Tom Fox, owner of Martini Cleaners in Burien, has doubts about the future of business casual.

Dress shirts, slacks and other office garb made up more than half of Fox’s dry cleaning, pressing and tailoring business before the pandemic. Today, he sees only a fraction of that, thanks largely to COVID-related work-from-home regimens that have left office workers everywhere in sweatpants and T-shirts.

Like many businesses, Fox has limped along by cutting staff hours and thinks he can stay open at least through the end of year. But he has no idea whether that will be long enough for business casual to return to business as usual. “We could see this cultural experiment going on for the next couple of years,” he says.

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