Success Story for:
Tony Lopez of AmeriClean
Antonio “Tony” Lopez knew he wanted to follow in the footsteps of many of his family members and open his own business. He grew up surrounded by a large family in a hard-working community of small business owners in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Tony served in the National Guard for seven years. The young Lopez family moved to Cleveland, Tennessee area approximately six years ago. Tony found employment with the Tennessee Valley Authority in security and then promptly took on a second job with a carpet cleaning company to help support his wife and three children.
Tony learned the carpet cleaning business and decided that was the field he would enter as a small business owner. He first came to the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at Cleveland State in 2008 seeking information on how to go about starting his own carpet, tile and upholstery cleaning business. Things were placed on the back burner for a few years. In 2012 he came back to the TSBDC and began meeting with Counselor Robert Hotchkiss. Mr. Hotchkiss was able to help Tony improve his credit score so he would have a better chance of receiving a small business loan. Over the course of approximately 15 months, Bob and Tony worked together on credit development and loan documentation. Tony also worked with TSBDC Counselor Lisa Janes to develop a marketing and branding strategy for success. By November of 2013 Tony had received funding to purchase business equipment as well as a business vehicle… AmeriClean became a reality.
As a one-year-old business, AmeriClean has achieved great success in a short time. Tony has secured cleaning contracts with two hotels and a large assisted living facility. The focus on building great customer relations through friendly and professional service has paid off through repeat and referral business. AmeriClean also uses environmentally friendly products, catering to households with pets and children. Mr. Lopez has joined the local Chamber of Commerce and continues to seek out new business through networking and word-of-mouth. Tony has maintained his night-shift employment while building his AmeriClean business during the day. He hopes to add a full-time employee to his company soon in order to meet his goal of expanding his business. Tony credits the TSBDC at Cleveland State with providing the much-needed business advice and assistance which enabled him to achieve his dream of business ownership.