Economic Development and Small Business & Startups

Cleaning companies ride the office expansion boom

Firms like Professional Maintenance of Michigan are enjoying record years.

February 12, 2016
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With the flurry of development in Grand Rapids in recent years, it stands to reason that someone has to clean up for all those new businesses relocating to the region.

And that means business has been good for West Michigan office cleaning companies.

For Professional Maintenance of Michigan, a full-service janitorial contractor that does a great deal of business downtown, the explosion of new offices has meant years of steady growth, and in 2015, a record year for revenue.

“I think Grand Rapids is growing very rapidly, so it’s great to be kind of in the middle of that growth,” owner Steve Brown said. “It presents our professional maintenance providers with a lot of opportunities.”

Professional Maintenance of Michigan, which employs 230 workers and was founded in 1981, contracts with a number of property management companies in Grand Rapids, including CWD Real Estate Investment and Colliers International, which results in a stronger presence in the downtown area.

“A lot of our current customers are growing, so we grow along with them and, as they acquire new properties, it presents new opportunities for us,” Brown said.

He added that Professional Maintenance of Michigan has diversified its services over the years, expanding to include services in the educational, medical and industrial fields along with its office cleaning services. From carpet cleaning to floor, marble and stone care, Professional Maintenance of Michigan covers a variety of services to meet the needs of its customers.

Brown said since about 2007, office space in Grand Rapids has increased exponentially, yielding larger profit margins for office cleaning companies in the area.

“There’s hardly a vacant building left in Grand Rapids,” he said.

Professional Maintenance previously was housed at 109 Logan Ave. SW, which is now home to Downtown Market. Brown said seeing the continued growth in that corridor is even more encouraging for his business.

Professional Maintenance posted record West Michigan earnings last year — $3.25 million, up from $3.1 million in 2014.

Enviro-Clean Services Inc. saw an increase of about 8.3 percent in West Michigan revenue, up to $39 million, according to Business Journal research. United Commercial Services Inc. increased its West Michigan earnings by about 21.8 percent in 2015, and Phoenix Floor Care nearly doubled its revenue, from $232,000 in 2014 to $425,000 in 2015.

The growth of the industry in West Michigan is somewhat symptomatic of a larger nationwide trend, but Brown said he believes Grand Rapids might be at the forefront.

“It’s hard to tell what the future’s going to present for us, but at this time we’re thankful for the opportunities and we’ll continue to provide the best service that we can,” Brown said.

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