Topeka transportation service takes financial hit from pandemic

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)- Many small businesses have taken a hit financially due to the pandemic. One people might not think about as often is a travel service, like Cortez Transportation Company in Topeka. The company relies heavily on weddings and parties for its business, but the drivers haven’t seen many […]

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)- Many small businesses have taken a hit financially due to the pandemic. One people might not think about as often is a travel service, like Cortez Transportation Company in Topeka.

The company relies heavily on weddings and parties for its business, but the drivers haven’t seen many of those since early March. Owner Carlos Cortez said his company is currently down 74% in revenue this year and he has already applied for loans.

“We got the host fund, the PPP plan and there are different grants we are still applying for now,” said Cortez. “The city grant is still available and the state grant is still available.”

To stay afloat financially in the middle of the pandemic, he is finding new ways to utilize his fleet of cars he has to typically shuttle people around. He is teaming up with local restaurants to deliver food.

One restaurant working with the transportation company is Iron Rail. “We’re also delivering to the Pennant,” said Steve Munoz, a delivery driver for the company. “I have made several deliveries as far as those restaurants are concerned. It seems to be doing pretty well. So far so good.”

The process is just like any other food delivery service or app, but all the money stays within the Topeka community instead of a portion going to a big company like Door Dash or Uber Eats.

For extra safety measures, each car is sanitized between any type of ride. A fog chemical called VitalOxide is used to clean the air.

Cortez said even with the different sources of income, he doesn’t know if it will be enough to stay in business long term.

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