Michigan Stone Soap company pivots from car washes to hand sanitizer for coronavirus crisis

"Nearly everywhere in the country, car washes were closed all over," said Steven Stone. "Only a few states had car washes that were open. The only car washes that remained open, were the gas station car washes."

Business plummeted 90 percent for the Stone Soap company. They never had to lay anyone off.  But it was tough to figure out what to do next.

They remained open because 30 percent of their business was making bio pesticides for the farming industry. But still, 70 percent of their business went down a slippery path of uncertainty. 

Then Stone says the need for hand sanitizer skyrocketed.  

"On an emergency basis, The Food and Drug Administration promulgated new rules for the production of hand sanitizer or, one for a set of guidelines for such production," Stone said. "And we discovered that we were uniquely situated."

They had the right equipment and the men and women who could do it. They went full throttle into production of hand sanitizer and now landed a major dollar contract with a tier one supplier who wants Stone Soap to make sanitizer for them. 
So how do you bring in extra labor when employees were worried about Covid spread?

"Many of her employees had spouses or family members that were suddenly unemployed - sons, daughters and the like, that were suddenly unemployed," he said. "Our employees thought if my husband or wife is unemployed, and I know they are healthy, I don't have a problem asking the company to let them work on a temporary basis."

So now family members have been able to come to the Sylvan Lake facility and help their loved ones churn out the product while making money.