In 2017, James and Jasney Diggs started their cleaning company, Tidy Up Experts, to fulfill their desire to contribute to the revitalization of their neighborhood, West Garfield Park. Tidy Up Experts provides professional commercial and residential cleaning services in the Chicago area.
“As residents and active community members, we established our business within this community because we see this neighborhood’s potential to thrive and our company contributing to long lasting change,” said James.
In 2022, James and Jasney received an A4CB small business loan, which allowed them to cover more territory throughout the Chicagoland region. James and Jasney’s loan also allowed them to obtain professional certifications, acquire equipment, and pay their employees.
In 2021-2022, the couple participated in A4CB’s Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Lab, a nine-month accelerator program that pairs community business owners with advisors who provide intensive support to help execute a growth initiative. “Our participation in the Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Lab allowed our business to make lasting connections [and] offered our company tools for growth,” said Jasney.
After graduating from the Neighborhood Entrepreneurship Lab, James and Jasney participated in A4CB’s Sales Support Program to further grow their business. Through this program, James and Jasney developed a 12-month sales strategy, created marketing materials, and built relationships with potential buyers. As a result, they secured a contract with Ascension Health Care, a West Side United partner.
Tidy Up Experts recently received a grant through the West Side United Small Business Grant program, a program that A4CB administered. The couple plan to use the funds towards advertising their commercial cleaning services to build a broader presence in the commercial cleaning industry.
Currently, Tidy Up Experts employs a ten-person team made up of residents from West Garfield Park. “Our team is our foundation,” said James. “We hire residents from our community and continue to train them with transferable employment skills. We’re reducing the impact of unemployment for residents with little to no employment history and providing opportunities for residents with minor, non-violent offenses.”
Looking forward, James and Jasney hope to continue increasing the number of contracts they service and expand their staff.