Marisa Nuñez, Marisa Hair, Long Island City, NY

Tracy Gentry

The Mop Squad

Dayton, Ohio

“The application process was quick and the payment came very quickly.” –Tracy Gentry

A Life-Changing Ad

In 2013, Tracy was going through a divorce that left her emotionally and financially depleted. “I have five kids so I stayed home a lot with them. My ex-husband had a good job and income. When I got divorced, I had to give up a lot, including our house.” Searching for ways to earn extra income, Tracy discovered a Craigslist ad to clean a nearby house. Soon enough, Tracy was cleaning houses and envisioning her next move. “I was working for someone else and realized I could start my own business and make it even better. An opportunity presented itself and I ran with it.”

A Familial Community

Tracy started the Mop Squad in January 2013, quickly building a loyal customer following. “I like to know that the communities we service are happy. So far, we’ve been able to rely solely on word of mouth.” With 16 employees, Tracy is welcoming to her staff’s needs. “If someone asks me, “Tracy, can I make some extra money this weekend? Christmas is coming up,” I say, “of course.”” Tracy and her boyfriend run the business together, and between them, they have seven additional employees: their children. “They all help out in their own way. Family is definitely at the core of what we do.”

For a while, Tracy had been using the entirety of the business’s income to cover expenses, leaving no room for error of a customer didn’t pay on time. “Whatever came in, that was it.” Not only that, but Tracy wanted to expand, a nearly impossible feat with the limited resources she had. Tracy discovered Ascendus through the Small Business Administration and applied for a loan. “The application process was quick and the payment came very quickly. With the loan, we bought new vans for our staff to travel to more areas that we previously couldn’t serve. We were also able to have extra cash on hand for emergencies.”

Growing and Giving with the help of Ascendus

As the business grows, Tracy has wasted no time sharing her achievements with those in need. “There’s a lot of advantages to feeling secure financially. Having your own business frees up your time so you can give back to the community. We used some of our earnings to throw a Christmas party at one of the low-income properties we work at and recently hosted a cook-off to raise money for the RED foundation.” Seven years after responding to that Craigslist ad, Tracy continues to appreciate the new life it led her to. “I wake up every day happy. I can provide for my family.”

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