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Rainy weather impacts small businesses across the Central Coast

Quiky Car Wash in San Luis Obispo placed a sign to let customers know they are closed due to the ongoing rain.
Landscaping companies and car washes are among the businesses that have been forced to halt operations on rainy days.
Posted at 6:43 PM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 22:45:12-05

While California is getting a good share of much-needed rain, the stormy weather has forced some Central Coast businesses to shut down temporarily.

Among them is Quiky Car Wash in San Luis Obispo, which put up a sign to let their customers know they are closed until further notice because of the rain.

“Last several years we have not had rain, so this is quite a surprise to us,” explained John Singh, Quiky Car Wash’s general manager. “January and February are usually our rain season.”

With three locations and more than 30 employees, it is hard for them financially.

“I’d say 20% is a number you look at in the reduction when it starts raining,” Singh said. “You lose about that much business.”

At Landwell Design and Build Co., landscaping trucks are parked outside.

“We’re a full-scale landscape design and construction company. We are also a general contractor, so all of our work is outside doing outdoor kitchens, landscape design and construction,” said Jon Svehla, the owner of Landwell Design and Build Co. “Pretty much anything outdoors we do, so in weather like this, you can see why it would slow us down a little bit.”

Rain changes the type of work that can be done.

“Working at the car wash, you kind of have to be flexible letting the employees know that towards the end of the year or the beginning of the year there are a lot of times when the car wash can’t be open, but we also take that time to do repairs, cleaning at the car wash, so we do have hours available for the employees to come in,” Singh said.

Both businesses try to keep their crews on the job, but it is not always possible.

“There's always things to do in the trucks, there’s stuff for tool maintenance, oil changes that need to be done and things around the office to be done,” Svehla added.

For workers, it means less money in their wallets.

“This is one of the businesses where a lot of our employees do have two jobs or they’re students, so they are able to overcome,” Singh said.

In a statement, Sunset North Car Wash and Detail Center said, “When rain is more intermittent, we also provide our 72-hour rain guarantee to assure customers their car wash won’t be wasted.”

Regardless of the challenges, these businesses are simply grateful California is finally getting some rain.

“We like the rain, we like the water, we need to fill our dams and have a supply of water,” Singh said.

Both Quiky Car Wash and Landwell Design and Build Co. said they try to give their employees as much notice as possible in regards to their schedule, but it is hard with changing weather conditions.