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SBDC Alumni "Pay It Forward"

Sep 22, 2015

SBDC Alumni “Pay It Forward”

There are many benefits to being a client of the Contra Costa Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  Most know about our no-cost events, training and advising, but many are not aware of the potential for community-building, networking and even business development opportunities.

Fresh Cleaning is a multi-generational company founded by Maria Covarubias and her husband Ismael Cortes while she was a client of AnewAmerica, a Women’s Business Center and SBA-partnership like the SBDC.  The company evolved to what it is today when the founders were joined by their daughters, Angeles, Karen and Naveli Cortes began working with the SBDC.  They formed a Limited Liability Company and expanded from residential to commercial cleaning, succeeded in securing a working capital loan and significantly increased sales.

Not long after, the company secured a location in Pleasant Hill.  Understanding that resource constraints often limit the locations where the SBDC can deliver trainings, Maria approached her lead advisor about the possibility of hosting one of the SBDC business planning classes.  The center director jumped at the opportunity and the photos you see here are from the graduation of that class.

“Over the last 20 years, my family and I enjoyed success and challenges and had the privilege to receive support from AnewAmerica and SBDC,” explained Maria. “Both pushed us to learn how to best manage our operations and we feel it is an honor to contribute to the community and share our experiences with those on the same trajectory as we once were so that they feel the same kind of support provided to us from the start.”

Fresh Cleaning is also “pollinator”, or the type of established organization that understands the importance of supporting other locally/family-owned, emerging businesses.  As such, Maria, Ismael and their daughters regularly hire or sub-contract with complimentary service providers working with the SBDC such as carpet and duct cleaners.