Jewish Businesses Meet Demand for Sanitizers, PPE

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Allan Goldshteyn treats surfaces with PRO-Techs. | Photo by Zac Shull

Allan Goldshteyn’s business has expanded 240% since spring, but he’s not exactly happy about it.

Goldshteyn is president of AG Laboratories, a cleaning and sanitizing company that initially specialized in disinfectant products. Now, it offers the GermBuster Service, a pathogen-killing regimen for businesses, housing units and community spaces.

“Unfortunately, my market has expanded,” he said. “And at the end of the day, our goal is to help businesses reopen and for the customers to feel safe.”


While the pandemic has caused an economic recession and strained businesses like bars and restaurants, health-related companies are seeing increased demand.

Jewish business owners like Goldshteyn have responded to the new normal by offering products and services that individuals and organizations need to operate safely. Some have built on their existing companies, while others have started entirely new ventures.

Goldshteyn said the disinfectant product he uses, PRO-Techs, is a positively charged nitrogen that kills microorganisms, which are all negatively charged, by electrocuting them. Unlike other disinfectants, which can evaporate after a few hours, PRO-Techs is designed to keep surfaces free of viruses and bacteria for up to 90 days.

This isn’t an ordinary disinfectant that can be applied with an average spray bottle or wipe, he said. Goldshteyn and his team use an electric static dispenser to charge the particles as they’re sprayed. Surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned with another disinfectant prior to treatment.

The product, which is only manufactured by two companies, is not a miracle cure, but Goldshteyn said that it is a strong defense against the coronavirus, with an EPA registration to prove it. It is also water-based and non-toxic, making it safe for use around food, children and pets.

Goldshteyn and his team create certificates for businesses and organizations that have completed the program, which can be displayed to give customers and guests more peace of mind. They have treated local businesses, health care providers, housing units, synagogues and churches as part of reopening plans.

Philly PPE Vending, a new coronavirus-inspired company, is making individually packaged items like masks and thermometers available in vending machines.

The idea for the company originated at the beginning of the crisis, when personal protective equipment was in short supply and desperately needed by health care workers, businesses looking to reopen and anyone venturing out in public. Co-owners Ben Waxman and Nathaniel Parks wanted to find a way to distribute equipment like masks quickly and easily, and vending machines seemed like a natural solution.

The vending machines can be customized with different combinations of products. In addition to non-contact thermometers, sanitizing wipes and KN-95 masks, Philly PPE Vending supplies snacks, lip balm, over-the-counter pain relief medication, condoms and USB chargers.

Waxman, who is president and CEO of the public affairs consulting firm A. Waxman & Co., said he and Parks are offering the vending machines for free to any location that wants them. People who install them can keep 10% of the sales revenue.

The company has 10 machines ready to be deployed, and one is available for public use in Parks’ retail outlet, Philly PPE Store, on East Passyunk Avenue. The latter was used as a test run, since the various shapes of the equipment sold are different from the average bag of chips or water bottle in a normal vending machine.

“The last thing we wanted to do was put out machines that were constantly not able to vend masks,” Waxman said.

RapidMask2Go, a New York-based company, also has installed PPE vending machines in SEPTA’S Suburban Station.

Personal protective equipment has even made its way into the fashion world.

Shani Klein added masks to her online tie-dye store Shemesh Shop, which started as a creative outlet during quarantine.

“Initially, I just did it as a fun project for myself and my two young daughters, because we were spending so much time together and they weren’t in preschool,” she said.

Personalized masks created by Shani Klein | Photo by Shani Klein

Her neighbors noticed the projects they were making in their yard and began to request shirts, hats, beach blankets and other items. Klein, a speech-language pathologist, launched the store on Instagram soon after.

She added personalized masks to her inventory when she noticed her children were having a hard time keeping their face coverings on due to poor fit or forgetfulness.

She came up with designs that fit snugly and had brightly colored patterns to appeal to kids. They can be customized with names and initials for those who want a personalized touch and for parents who want to avoid mixing up their children’s masks for hygiene’s sake.

The masks, along with the shop’s other items, come in color schemes named after inspirational women. There’s the Rosie, a mix of pink and orange named after civil rights activist Rosa Parks, and the Goldie, a rainbow pattern named after Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, among others. Klein said that it was important to her as a mother and business owner to pay homage to female leaders.

spanzer@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0729

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