We hit some awesome goals in 2017, but it's time for some bigger and better resolutions!

2017 was quite the year for us. 

As a small yet growing company, we felt the pains for growth and have learned many lessons along the way! We're excited that we're hiring new people and expanding into new building all over River North, the Loop, and South Loop. 

Here's a few highlights from this past year:

We hired 3 new employees.

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Our team competed the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover as part of our personal development staff program.

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We expanded into 3 new buildings: 1000 S. Clark, 1333 S. Wabash, and The Columbian.

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Our staff spent a day of training at an Entreleadership professional development conference in Chicago.

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So what's next?

It's full speed ahead for us! We're planning on developing our current team, training new team members, and expanding to even more buildings. 

Have any feedback for us! We'd love to hear back from you. Feel free to leave a comment. Happy New Year and hope you hit your resolutions this year!

Top tips for cleaning your kitchen before the holiday rush hits

Holidays are for baking and cooking

The smells, and sights -- it all brings delight to those who participate!

Turkey and dressing after the blessing, bring us some figgy pudding, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. All reminders that this season is about bringing people together over food. 

Holidays are for cleaning

However, the home chef definitely gets the short end of the stick since there's mass amounts of preparation, organizing, purchasing...

And cleaning

And cleaning

And yet more cleaning!

We tend to push it out of our minds, and just do it when it gets bad. You know, real bad.

But we have some tips for you -- start early and get a clean start before any baking commences!

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Tip 1: Clean out the fridge

Once you start cooking and baking, all that empty space disappears really quickly. If there's a good time to wade through those piles of food in the fridge and deep clean it out, during the holiday season would be the best time. 

Get rid of old bottles, combine containers, throw out old food, scrub the insides down, and feel like a champion and ready to hit the baking list!

Tip 2: Clean your oven

The oven gets more consistent use during the 6 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas than any other time during the year. Use this time to get your oven roasting ready. Some ovens have self-cleaning options, but often you need to get down on your hands and knees and give it a deep once-over. This means not just the insides of the oven, but the trays, door, and racks. 

Tip 3: Organize you cabinets and shelves

There's nothing worse than needing to find that large tupperware container that fits 2 batches of cookies and not being able to find the lid amongst the ocean of lids and containers in that cabinet you tend to throw everything in. It doesn't take long, but it's worth the time to take everything out and organize properly. You'll be doing lots of cooking and having innumerable leftovers, so it's high time you prepared your cabinets and shelves to take the heat of the holidays!

Tip 4: Clean the freezer

Freezer is the hell of forgotten foods. We know you think that you'll eat that leftover frozen soup from 2 years ago, but we are pretty certain you need some reality policing assisting you. Bite the bullet and throw out those old items so that you can buy your Christmas ham early and actually have space to freeze it. Additionally, you can bake your cookies early this year, freeze them, and take them out as your family is ready to consume them (my mom does this every year!).

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Is your kitchen ready for the holiday hit?

Don't get caught unprepared! Perhaps on the day you decorate for Thanksgiving or Christmas take a little extra time to give you kitchen some tender loving care. It will love you in return.


Do you live in downtown Chicago and want your kitchen cleaned for you during the holidays? We'd love to help you. Shoot us a message and we'll set you up no time flat.

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A personal testament to why a busy professional loves good housekeeping

We get it -- those who live in downtown Chicago are BUSY

The schedule, the personal appointments, the fitness routines, the pets, the socializing ... it can pretty much squeeze out all energy from even the most energetic of people. 

That's why when we come home we don't want to think about anything. It's time to relax. Chill. Be quiet. 

But it's hard to do that when you realize you haven't dusted in 3 weeks, and the bathroom is starting to look atrocious. We care about our house, right?? Don't judge us, but life is just too busy. 

Just like one of our long-standing clients

We asked Susan (she prefers to stay anonymous, so that's a nice name we came up with) if she'd like to share some of her reasons why she loves good housekeeping with our company. It makes us happy to support the busy professionals of our city! If they are happy, then they can be more successful, and that makes our city a better place.

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Where do you live, Susan?

I live at 1 West Superior in downtown Chicago.

How did you connect with us?

Honestly it's been so long I don't exactly remember how I found you all. But most likely I was recommended through our management office. They often refer you to tenants in our building.

What kind of career do you have, and how does having a good cleaning company make a difference when you come home from work?

I do consulting work for research and academic groups. Due to the nature of my job, I often have to travel away from home for up to a week at a time. It is especially nice to know that everything is taken care of while I'm gone, and once I get back it's comforting to come home to a clean house.

Who is your cleaner, and what do you appreciate about her work?

Emily cleans for me, and I especially appreciate her knowledge of unusual cleaning issues, and to say nothing of the fact that she is smart and reliable.

Do you think your neighbors would enjoy this kind of service?

I would definitely recommend Chicago Loop Cleaners to the management office and any other building tenants! The people are so competent, reliable, and pleasant to work with!


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Do you need your home cleaned by a reliable, likable housekeeper?

Connect with us and we'll see if we're the right fit for you!

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In The News: Chicago Loop Cleaners Covered by Voyage Chicago as Inspirational Company

An inspiring community organization

Recently we were honored to be sought out by Voyage Chicago to be covered in their news. Emily Taylor, our founder, was interviewed by the staff and her comments about the company were recorded. 

About Voyage

Voyage Chicago seeks to cover the most inspiring stories in Chicago.

Every neighborhood in Chicago has it's own vibe, style, culture and history...."

Their sections range from articles about Food and Entertainment, Local Community, Business, Art, and people that are amazing. 

Their mission indeed focuses on making Chicago seem a little smaller, a little more closer and connected.

Our mission is build a platform that fosters collaboration and support for small businesses, independent artists and entrepreneurs, local institutions and those that make our city interesting. 

Chicago Loop Cleaners came as a recommendation from the community.

Our company has not necessarily taken the road-most-travelled by entrepreneurs. We didn't seek outsider investment, and we also have a social enterprise mindset that seeks to develop people and communities. Our growth has been intentional and one small step at a time. But that has given us time and space to create really good internal processes and procedures, work closely with staff, fix mistakes quickly, and learn how to make a scalable model. 

We believe in the growth of small things and are in this for the long haul! So we're thankful that news outlets like Voyage have found our story as one that resonates with the community-driven, entrepreneurial mindset. 

Here's our article in Voyage: http://voyagechicago.com/interview/meet-emily-taylor-chicago-loop-cleaners-downtown-river-north-south-loop/

Interested in reading more about our company's vision? Check out Our Vision.

Our favorite (and LEAST favorite) things to do on the 4th of July in Chicago

Chicago knows how to through a 4th of July party

However, as locals living downtown around the Loop, we've come to learn that there are certain places to really enjoy the 4th ... and certain places to steer clear of! We wanted to share a few of our own suggestions based off our experiences. Think we missed any? Please share in the comments!

 

Places to go

1. Signature Lounge at the Hancock Tower

The Signature Lounge is an ideal location to view the city from the 96th floor of the Hancock Building in River North. This is a perfect view to take in, no matter what time of year. But if you can get up there on the 4th in time for fireworks, the views are even more extravagant!  Be prepared for lines, of course, but if you have a table, you have no worries of dealing with crowds and rowdiness. If you absolutely must be downtown, we suggest going here. https://www.signatureroom.com/lounge/

2. 2017 Napperville Ribfest

That's right-- get outta town! Napperville is about a 40 minute drive from the city, and you won't have to deal with the same kind of crowds. Plus, what's more American that feasting on ribs?? Find out more information on their website: 

3. International Festival of Life in Union Park

Here you'll find a family-friendly festival featuring music, food, arts, crafts, educational contests and more. We love the international spread of music they'll be having: Reggae, Caribbean, African, R & B, Blues, Gospel, Latin, Indie, and other global sounds. Celebrating America means embracing all of our global diversity. It's what makes us so beautiful! 

Places NOT to go

1. Navy Pier

While some may claim that you need to experience the 4th of July at Navy Pier at least once in your life, we feel that we owe it to you to save you from the trauma. It is unbelievably packed! And not only that, they close access to the Pier pretty early once it is filled to capacity. While there are many cops everywhere, the masses are overwhelming and sometimes the young crowd can get rowdy. Avoid at all costs!!

2. North Avenue Beach

There are many places in Chicago that are family-friendly. This is not one of them! Yes, the waterfront views of the city are lovely, but you never know when a fight might break out around you, or indecent behavior is conducted right next to you as you try to enjoy your nice outing. This is definitely the hangout spot for teens and college students. So unless you want to party with them and like them, we promise that it will overwhelm you! Stay clear!

3. Grant Park

This was a swing vote for us, because the music there is pretty awesome. But quite frankly, the crowds are a headache. This is a post for locals, so we know how much tourists can be the bane of our existence! On this one day of the year every tourist coming to Chicago wants to be in Grant Park. Sidewalks are packed, lines are long, and seating is limited. We know there are better ways to enjoy Chicago. So we vote this one out!

There are many great things to experience in Chicago on the 4th.

Sometimes, though, it just takes some creativity. Perhaps go just a little further south or north of the city if you want to stay on the Lake. Or get out to the burbs and enjoy a break from the city life. Celebrations are about memories and having fun, not feeling unsafe, confused, or annoyed with the atmosphere around you. 

So have fun and be safe! Share any of your favorites spots in the comments below.

 

Help us break the cycle of AIDS and poverty in East Africa!

Chicago Loop Cleaners exists to not just clean homes in the most pristine way possible, but we also deeply care about the development of our community and staff. Our vision has always been to offer a professional development program through our company and participate in the economic development of Chicago's neighborhoods.

Right now, though, we have an opportunity to partner with a global effort to end the cycle of AIDS and poverty for orphans and their communities in East Africa via the Cyclebreakers Ride for Hope. Angela Jackson, who is biking on the Ride for Hope, has been partnered with CLC the last 2 years to help us develop and grow as a business. She's our professional small business consultant and has been an invaluable resource to the functioning and growth of CLC! 

In her free time, she volunteers to work with survivors of human trafficking, often many of them being children, or were first trafficked when they were children. Now she's taking her passions overseas and is biking a whopping 600 miles around Lake Victoria over the course of 10 days to raise $12,000 to support children and orphans affected by AIDS! Many of these kids have either been exploited in their past, or are vulnerable to it due to their life situation. 

Everyone deserves safety and care, both here in Chicago and over in East Africa. So we want to join the team of Cyclebreakers! We as a company want to raise $500 to support Angela on her Ride for Hope. She'll be joining a global team of riders to accomplish this feat. But the ride starts in just 2 weeks and she needs her support soon! Would you consider donating to her campaign on GoFundMe? You can read the whole story there -- it's a pretty exciting adventure!

Thanks for helping me help my friend and business ally so that she can support these children. 

Best!

Emily

Owner, Chicago Loop Cleaners

Spring Cleaning is here!

It's time for a deep Spring cleaning!

And we gotcha covered!

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We love cleaning. Yes, even that deep, down-n-dirty type of cleaning. Spring is a busy time as everyone is getting geared up for summer. And what better time to get your house in tip-top shape with an annual deep clean!

Right now we are offering special services for our clients in addition to our normal weekly or bi-weekly cleanings. Whether you need to finally get those cupboards organized, or wash the outside of your balcony windows, were here to help you! 

Shoot us an email (emily@chicagoloopcleaners.com) if you're interested in any off our special Spring services and we'll get you squared away in our schedule. 

  • Closet organization: $30/hr

  • Laundry: $30/hr

  • Clothes delivery to on-site dry cleaner/dry cleaner pick up: $10/cartload

  • Cupboard organization (kitchen, bathroom, or other cluttered area): $30/hr

  • Interior window washing: $35/hr

  • Balcony cleaning, including window washing: $25 total. Includes washing exterior windows, railings, vacuuming up spider webs, sweeping floor, and wiping all furniture clean

Chicago Loop Cleaners joins Together Campaign

We’ve recently joined the Together Campaign, a platform for refugees and immigrants to get matched to jobs in Chicago. We value all people at our company, no matter who they are or where they’ve come from. To us, what’s most important is values and ethics. Those can be found in all populations. We wanted to join this campaign to encourage finding employees that often have a hard time finding jobs, but who nonetheless may have great work ethic and experience. And there are many other employers in Chicago that feel the same say, as we have found.

 

So this month, TalentFlood, a new smart hiring software that uses a sophisticated algorithm to match employers to job seekers, has launched a new Together Campaign. Their goal is to bring employers together with refugees and immigrants in Chicago to encourage job matches. They are partnering with outstanding refugee and immigrant organizations in Chicago, as well as with employers like us that stand in solidarity with hiring from this population. TalentFlood is simply the platform for the matches to be made.

 

As a Chicago local and co-founder of TalentFlood, Angela Jackson shares about the idea and passion behind the campaign. “Let’s be honest -- the refugee and immigration topic is tense right now. Everyone has varying views, but for the most part there is no unity. So we wanted a space where everyone could unify in the business sector and have a practical outlet for solidarity.” She continues to explain the details of the job matching. “The best part of the campaign is the way the software works. It’s statistical matching, so it truly will only choose matches based off the employer’s job description and needs. So while it doesn’t ‘prefer’ a refugee over other candidates, it does give them a better shot because numbers and rates don’t have emotional connections to names, countries, university names, or timing of jobs. It adds up the total ‘score’ of the candidate in comparison to the employer score.”

 

“This is important because refugees specifically have difficulty getting jobs. Not because they’re uneducated or disqualified, but because sometimes they’ll have time gaps in their resume when they were at a refugee camp, or because their university name isn’t recognized, or because they simply are from another country. Not all employers have explicit bias and realize they are doing this. But we all have implicit bias. So if we can eliminate that, it will not just help refugees, but everyone!”

 

Since the idea for the Together Campaign was in genesis 2 months ago, the Talent Flood team has been able to meet one-on-one with refugees, walking them through the profile and making sure that they understand each part of it. Sometimes a team member will need to help translate a job title -- what was called an Office Worker may be officially called Administrative Assistant in America. At the end of the day, TalentFlood wants to do whatever it takes to give them the same access to opportunity that everyone else has.

 

We’re super excited to get on board! Read more about the campaign here: http://chicago.thetogethercampaign.org/about/

Welcoming our newest team member!

Chicago Loop Cleaners expands at 1000 S. Clark!

And with that expansion, we invited Tamika to our team of cleaning professionals! 

Tamika joined our team in late March, and has quickly shown herself to be both enthusiastic and conscientious in her work. Additionally, she has several year of experience working with the Boys and Girls Club of America, and even traveled and spoke on their behalf. Tamika has a strong interest in social entrepreneurship, and we are excited to have her on our team as we pursue our vision for changing the story of Chicago. 

When Tamika finishes her training, she will be working in both of our South Loop buildings: 1000 S. Clark and 720 S. Dearborn.

Welcome to the team, Tamika! We're excited to have you join us!

Do you live at 1000 S. Clark? Do you want a sparkling clean home so that you can come home and rest?

We would love to meet you! Our clients in our building love to have peace and rest when they come home, and we love to create that space for them. 

Send us your information and we'll reach out to you to see up a free home assessment. Looking forward to meeting you!

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Our Vision for 2017: Developing Our Social Enterprise

Chicago Loop Cleaners is a high-end luxury house keeping service that not only brings peace and rest to homes in downtown Chicago, but we also have a passion for the development of our community and city. We stand in the gap for the marginalized and are doing our part to participate in the economic development of Chicago's neighborhoods. Whether that looks like those who are economically strained, marginalized, the immigrant or refugee, we stand in solidarity and are doing something about it.

Our Goals For 2017

We're shooting for the stars this year. After 3 years of developing a solid internal structure and process, we are excited to make a larger impact for our clients and our community. Contribute directly to our fundraising campaign.

1. HIRE 4 EMPLOYEES

We put each applicant through a rigorous hiring process which includes an online software application and match, a personality test, a phone interview, a working interview, and in-person interview, and a background check and drug test. We bring on only the most serious cleaners who have a vision for their future. We bring the resources and they bring the passion and commitment to both cleaning and development.

The cost of recruiting, hiring, on-boarding and training these new employees for 2017 is approximately $15,000.

2. LAUNCH INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

We are developing a year-long training program that will enable each employee to identify their vision for their own life and to have developed professional and interpersonal skills that will make them highly desirable for future jobs. The first 3 months will teach the team members professionalism and cleaning skills. The next 6 months will focus on personal development. This will include training on self-esteem, life visioning, goal setting, conflict management, nutrition, and financial education. In the final months of the year each team member will be able to identify the direction they want to take their career by using those skills within the company. While still cleaning, they will have opportunity to become more involved with social media marketing, blog writing, sales, management, employee training, accounting, or any other career-building skill.

The total cost for the fully-developed program is $130,000. The most basic functional version of the program can be created for $56,000. 

Help Us Reach Our Funding Goal

In order to hit our goals this year, we need to raise $50,000. With this money we'll be able to hire new employees and put them through a full internship program that not only involves becoming a highly skilled house cleaner, but also puts them on a path of professional and personal development so that they can take the next steps of success in their lives. If our communities are developed, then we all win.

Click here to support us!

 

Emily's Story: how this all began

"I started CCLC in August of 2013 hoping to create a business that business that I could use to “do community development” in the neighborhood of Little Village. I had gotten involved in Little Village as a college student, and after a few years away from Chicago after graduation, it was time to come back and make a life be a part of my community again. I came back to Chicago because I was looking for a way to do community development in Little Village.

I came to Chicago initially for college. After graduated from Moody Bible in 2011, and went back to my hometown in Colorado for a couple of years. I was looking for a way to come back to Chicago though, to be involved in Little Village, where I had gone to church while in school. I had no idea what I was going to do; I just intended to “do community service”. My plan was to get a job to fund a move back to Chicago, but I was given the opportunity to work for a small business owner as his first employee. He offered to train me to start a business that I could use serve my neighborhood by providing jobs. I worked for him for 7 months, and then moved out to Chicago with his blessing.

I’ve now been in business for 3.5 years and have a small team. I always knew I wanted to use the business as a way to teach people professional and personal life-skills, but not until mid-2016 did I was I really able to solidify what that will mean in my company."

 

Final thoughts

In light of recent events, we want to be clear that Chicago Loop Cleaners is committed to supporting, hiring, and developing the lives of immigrants and refugees. We understand the complexities of their lives as well as the process to integrate in American society. This is an opportunity and not a threat from our perspective. As we have the opportunity to assist in developing self-sustainable options for their lives, we will partner as much as possible.