MADISON,Wis.–––When the workday ends at Madison Children's Museum, Marie Justice drops off some extra cleaning supplies for her crew as they are getting started.
Justice is the owner of Community Cleaners. She and her husband started the business seven years ago. The company's purpose is to create an environment that values and supports its workers while also encouraging career growth.
"The commercial cleaning industry is notorious for having people overworked and underpaid. So we wanted to start a company that treats people well, pays them well and gives them autonomy," said Justice.
Carmen Salvador, a mother of five, said it's refreshing to work for a company that fosters a family-style working environment.
"If I need one day off or my kids or sick and I call, they say 'Don't worry; it's okay.' The other companies they say, "No, no, no, you need to come. You need to find somebody to watch your kids and you need to come.' So it's a big difference," she said.
Yet as a small minority-owned business in Madison, Justice said she is faced with challenges.
"Minority-owned businesses don't scale very well; a lot of us close. We don't stay open; longevity is an issue," said Justice.
She said she is looking forward to being part of Madison's Black Business Hub, which among many things, will provide needed resources.
In April, The Urban League of Greater Madison made history when it broke ground on Madison's Black Business Hub.
The 4-story 76 thousand-square-foot center will be devoted to incubating, accelerating and networking for Black and other BIPOC entrepreneurs.
Many Black business owners said they face challenges accessing capital. The Black Business Hub will provide that missing link.
The Black Business Hub expects to open in 2023.