By Crystal Britt
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A local business claims to have the tools to help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Regency Pad Corp. in Martin, Tennessee just landed a big contract with BP.
It's all thanks to a new invention. It's not only good for the gulf, but for the company that's about to double in size.
Regency Pad makes mattress pads.
The company's biggest clients are hotel and motel chains, but now their orders are with BP.
"We're at $10 million in purchase orders right now," said Dan Chadwick-VP/General Manager.
It all started about two months ago, a few days after the coastal crisis began.
"I was committed to it. I knew it would work just had to get the right mixture of cloth," said Chadwick.
Chadwick says he worked round the clock for about three weeks to develop a product that would absorb oil.
He shows us on a small scale how his invention, the ocean mop, works. In about a minute, the oil is absorbed onto the mattress pad.
It soaks up about 90% oil and 10% water.
"Proof is in the pudding," said Chadwick.
BP apparently agrees. Chadwick says as soon as he showed the product to the oil giant last week the company was sold.
He got orders immediately. "I could send two truck loads a day if I could produce, and still couldn't keep up," said Chadwick.
Regency Pad over the years has suffered.
A lagging economy forced layoffs. They cut back to working just a few days a week.
Now the company has doubled its yearly earnings in about a weeks time.
They've hired new people, and are about to add even more.
"I'm very excited to have a paycheck considering the unemployment situation in the U.S. and this area," said new employee Darin Bradberry.
"I'm grateful to have this job not been a job out here. I just fell into an opportunity," said new employee Joe Easley.
Dan Chadwick really feels his product can make a difference. "This is a legacy for all of us."
The first shipment of ocean mops headed to the gulf on Wednesday. A second shipment is headed to Pensacola this weekend.
"It's a pretty good feeling when you see a truckload leave this parking lot, knowing it's going to do good," said Chadwick.
Right now the company's up to about 32 employees, that's likely to double in the coming days.
They went from working two and three days a week to 10 hour days, seven days a week.