COVID-19 prompts fishing captain to start new cleaning business

SEWARD, Alaska (KTUU) - COVID-19 has presented major challenges to small businesses in Alaska, but one Seward couple has found a way to make the most of the situation by creating a new business.

(KTUU)

Levi Rangel runs Alaska Dream Charters in Seward, but this summer he’s not just fishing.

“We were forced to look out there to see what was available for cleaning and sanitation of your vessel to protect our passengers, but not just them, our families, ourselves and our friends,” Rangel said.

Rangel acquired an atomizer sprayer and a license to purchase a cleaning chemical that can kill the virus that causes COVID-19, among other diseases.

The additional deep cleaning COVID-19 requires would have taken at least another hour cleaning the boat by hand, but with the system he has now Rangel says he can clean his boat in five minutes.

“We originally developed it for ourselves for use on our boats, and quickly realized it’s something that has so many applications that can help so many small business owners,” Rangel said.

The company, AK Extreme Micro-Clean, has already cleaned Seward tour busses, restaurants, and day care centers as far away as Wasilla.

“It’s taking a lot of stress off business owners because just like myself, they were looking at it going ‘how am I going to really accomplish my work that I’m doing,’ because we already have enough on our plate. But to add the additional cleaning every day, hourly on all those touch points, daily on on the big stuff, it takes a lot of time,” Rangel said.

Right now the business is just Rangel and his wife, but he says he has capacity to expand and more employees lined up to work.

“It’s not my passion, but it’s something that was born out of necessity,” Rangel said. “With it we’ve kind of developed the attitude of we want to do our part to not only combat this virus, but to help our friends, our neighbors and the state of Alaska stay open for business.”

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