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We're Open, Tallahassee: Barineau Heating and Air Conditioning gives back to employees, community

Posted at 6:39 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 18:39:57-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — With the economic uncertainties from the coronavirus, we here at ABC 27 are shining a light on businesses that are doing their part to help out the community while keeping their business open.

A local air conditioning company has come up with a cool way to give back to the community.

It's the time of year again when air conditioning bills will be climbing back up. And it's even more painful for those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, who can't pay it.

The need for heating and A/C is essential, and so are the people employed to install and repair them.

Barineau Heating and Air Conditioning opened in 2006, offering residential and commercial service and replacements to the Tallahassee and Big Bend region.

Barineau President, Patrick Barineau, says since they've been fortunate to stay busy during this difficult time and wanted to help those who haven't been so fortunate.

"We know people are struggling, either being laid off or have lost their job, and we just wanted to give back in a way that would help," said Barineau. "Anytime you can support your community and give back like this, you can't help but to have joy."

The family owned and operated business also understands the needs of it's employees, some of whom are now juggling a full-time HVAC job and full-time teaching job.

"I think we've done very well with keeping everything together, making sure our employees are still working and providing necessary means for them to make a living and continue following the CDC guidelines," said Barineau.

Barineau says they also brought in tutors to help employees who have children, watch them and help them with their school work at no cost to the employees.

"We've created two tutoring classes here and I've hired some teachers to help with my employees and their kids, making sure they're staying on task with their schoolwork," Barineau said.

It was a cool idea for employees like Annie Tillman, the office manager at Barineau.

"We were scrambling," said Tillman. "The daycares obviously were all full, so we would not have had a place for Chloe to go during the day while we work had Patrick not done this for us. So I know it was a tremendous help for all the families here who have children."

While Barineau has continued to work through the shutdown, he says he knows that's not the case for many and wanted to help. So, they decided to pay two months of utility bills for three randomly selected Tallahassee residents affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Each recipient received a check for $600.

"I received a thank you letter today from one of them," Barineau said. "They were two months behind on their light bill, and they had to decide whether to buy groceries or pay their light bill, so this helped them in a way that they don't have to worry about it."

Barineau Heating and Air Conditioning continues to serve Tallahassee during the COVID-19 pandemic by strictly observing CDC recommendations and local safety guidelines.

If you're a business supporting our community, we want to hear from you.

ABC 27 has made it easy to submit your own business.

This is not just Tallahassee. South Georgia small businesses, we want to hear from you too!

Click on the We're Open, Tallahassee tab at the top of the ABC 27 website. Then, tell us your story by filling out the section to the right.

It's our way of letting people know you are open for business, and how they can support you.

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