Junk hauler adjusts business to pandemic

Sarah Mawhorr has been transporting rubbish for a little over a year, mostly unwanted furniture that needs to be cleared from homes before properties close.

Spring is a busy time in the real estate business in general, so it’s been a busy time for Mawhorr and her Schaumburg-based company, Elite Command Junk Hauling.

But business slowed last month during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it had to haul something even less glamorous – dirt and leaves.

“This is usually a time when I would be very busy,” Mawhorr said. “This business, junk hauling, is driven by the real estate market.”

Often times, before closing a property, people have to get rid of furniture they didn’t want. Mawhorr is hired to take the items and take them away in her truck, a white Isuzu van that she bought new last year for $ 58,000. Your two employees are making the move.

In the past she was able to donate the items. However, recently furniture donations are not being accepted and she has had to pay to dispose of the items and that affects her bottom line.

“We were fine until March,” said Mawhorr. “We were still pretty busy, but it seems like all ongoing closings have taken place.”

Now closings are not planned because people are not putting their homes on the market, she said.

She makes less money moving dirt and leaves, but “outdoor work” keeps her people busy and generates the income it needs.

“If I stop working, I will lose the business,” she said.

While their main concern during the pandemic is that they or their employees will get sick, the nature of the work lends itself to social distancing.

Mawhorr applied for a disaster loss loan with the US Small Business Administration and received a confirmation number only because of the significant arrears.

Before starting the company, Mawhorr had been a home mom for 15 years. She previously worked at the Daily Herald’s business desk for 10 years.

• Do you know a small suburban business with a compelling history of dealing with the pandemic? Send photo director Jeff Knox a detailed email with LIFE’S WORK in the subject line [email protected] and we’ll think about it.

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