A Leamington entrepreneur has seized the opportunity to launch a new enterprise after his aviation valeting business was left grounded by the pandemic.
Carl Barlow hopes the new Fog sanitisation company, Fogging Now, launched this month in Cubbington, will help fuel local business efforts to re-emerge from the challenges of lockdown.
Headed up by former RAF engineer Barry Sant, the friends have now been reunited for the project, which is forecast to help lift a cloud in the aftermath of the pandemic. They are also pledging to employ other financial ‘victims’ of lockdown in the process.
Carl, who launched Rise&Shine for the aviation sector 20 years ago, said: “Due to the virus, aviation has been very badly hit so my business needed to look to other fields to generate more income. As we were already providing a fogging sanitisation service to aircraft – and as we were starting to receive requests to fog jet centres and non-aviation vehicles, we realised there is a need for this outside the aviation industry as well.”
He added: “We are focused on employing within the local area, to people who lost their jobs due to the virus.
“And everything from vehicle graphics to clothing merchandise to print has been locally sourced to assist as many businesses as possible.”
The Fog machines are designed to thoroughly sanitise all surfaces in any space, by dispensing non-toxic and eco-friendly disinfectant in a super fine mist of protective particles.
And customers are warned not to be alarmed by the appearance of the ‘foggers.’
“We turn up looking like Ghostbusters! But we only wear the full personal protective equipment because we’re working with it all the time and are prone to getting slight irritation at the back of the throat. It is completely safe,” said Barry.
The ex-RAF and civil aviation engineer is able to call upon his 24 years working in aircraft maintenance when heading up the new operation.
Depending on which cleaning agent is used, it can provide protection against pathogens and viruses for up to eight, 10 or 30 days after each procedure.
He said: “A motor creates a high pressure air output to produce a very fine fog to enable the efficient application of various disinfectant solutions to a variety of hard and soft surfaces that are active within five minutes.
“It can be used anywhere that you have customers, staff or the general public – pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants, public transport, vehicles, gyms, shops etc. and is already used in hospitals and other healthcare settings as one of the products is certified as a class 2A medical device. All products are food safe and one is even Halal certified, in accordance with Islamic law.”
As demand in Fog’s services grows, the entrepreneurs predict a new shift towards the long term importance of surface hygiene post COVID.
Barry said: “I’d like to see the business grow and eventually become national because the issue with the COVID virus isn’t going away in the short or medium term. We’re all in for a long ride with this.”