KNOXVILLE, Tenn — One small business owner is making an investment in a disinfection device, hoping to make his business a safer place to visit.
With small businesses struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic, Robert Lebus is making adjustments to fight back against the coronavirus. He said that he hopes those investments can help the company stay open.
"You have to be open because, obviously, you have people that are employed and rely on you to make a living," said Lebus.
Just like so many businesses that were thrown curveballs during the pandemic, it’s been no different for Lebus. Many small businesses had to close down at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing them to lose revenue.
"It was hard. We didn't know what was going to happen, we didn't know if they were even going to let us open up," Lebus said.
Lebus and his wife, Je,n own two gyms and a clothing store. They said that the last 10 months plus have been full of angst and uncertainty.
"You know it's hard being a small business right now," said Lebus.
His employees said they agreed with him, having to struggle alongside them to make money.
"We have definitely seen slower days because of COVID-19," said Denise Key, Manager of the NTY Clothing Exchange.
In a time of so many unknowns, adjustments are important. So, Lebus invested in disinfection technology called CASPR. He hopes that it will help his businesses stay open during the pandemic.
The device kills 98 percent of the COVID-19 virus in the first 6 hours, according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison study.
"When she comes to workout, she feels confident that she's working out in an area that's disinfected," Lebus said.
CASPR is used in hospitals across the country, and now it’s helping a small business owner keep his doors open and his employees safer.
"It definitely makes me feel more at peace and safe to go home to my family," said Key.
Lebus said the times have been far from ideal. However, she also said that this could be a time to start making adjustments.
"When they give you the opportunity to open you have to take advantage of it and you have to adjust,” Lebus said.