Like many restaurant employees, Hannah Greene found herself out of work when the novel coronavirus arrived in the territory. As the V.I. adapted to COVID-19 safeguards and restaurants were able to resume regular service, Greene questioned whether the health risk would be worth the money she’d earn as a server. Around the same time, Greene and her husband, Derek Greene, learned about PermaSafe, a protective coating that’s often sold as an upgrade at car dealerships.
Realizing the product’s potential in a global pandemic, Greene decided to shift her energy to marketing PermaSafe’s application to island businesses. First though, the Greenes, who are mostly vegan and follow a clean living type of lifestyle, wanted to verify the safety of the product.
“My wife ended up reaching out to the president of PermaSafe, who answered all the questions we had about it,” said Derek. “We just feel really good about it.”
PermaSafe is a two-part treatment system that the Greenes apply using top of the line electrostatic foggers. The first part kills harmful microbes, including COVID-19, while the second part bonds with the surface creating an active shield of ongoing antimicrobial protection that lasts three to six months.
While the treatment is active, there is no need to further sanitize the treated surface, as the shield — long chains of positively charged atoms that attract and destroy harmful microorganisms, whose cell walls are negatively charged — continues to kill germs. PermaSafe is safe for children and pets and is hypoallergenic. It’s been approved by the EPA for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The applications on an island that’s dependent on tourism are numerous. Restaurants can treat their tableware and menus; vacation accommodations can treat high-touch surfaces and linens; car rental companies can treat car interiors. Beyond offering peace of mind to hospitality staff and travelers, PermaSafe can make turnover days less arduous for hotel and villa staff.
“When the Jeeps and villas have been treated with PermaSafe, all you have to do is vacuum up the sand, wipe off the fingerprints, and clean up the dirt because the surfaces are actively sanitizing,” said Hannah.
To date, the couple has treated Island Health & Wellness Center and they’re scheduled to treat The Terrace Restaurant. They also donated their services to treat the Love City Pan Dragons’ pan sticks, helping the band safely return to practice.
“We have this product now that can help our friends who are in the hospitality industry. Our main goal is to keep our community safe and prosperous,” said Derek.
Beyond protecting against COVID-19 and other illnesses, the shield that PermaSafe creates provides an added benefit in the island’s climate. The Greenes treated their home including their dogs’ beds and collars, preventing pet odor that tends to build up quickly due to humidity.
“It keeps things newer longer because you’ve given them a new surface,” said Hannah. “The microorganisms that cause odor — the bacteria, mold, and pathogens — are all being eliminated.”
PermaSafe can be applied to any clean, dry surface from computer screens to teddy bears. The Greenes said they can safeguard almost every facet of a visitor’s experience or a resident’s daily life on island, including charter boats, ferry boats, restaurants, offices, medical facilities, schools, churches, villas, resorts, and more. PermaSafe can also be used to treat the insides of cisterns, in PVC pipes during plumbing installations, and it can even be mixed with wet concrete during construction to prevent mold growth.