TAMPA, Fl. – The Florida SBDC at University of South Florida, in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration, recognized local business owner, Wanda Barton, on May 5, as the 2022 U.S. SBA South Florida District and State of Florida Woman Business Owner of the Year.
Barton is the owner of Xtremely Clean Janitorial Services, LLC, and a client of Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County. Her business consultant is Janette Blanco. The award was presented at The Power of Creative: A Small Business Week Lunch and Learn, sponsored by Spectrum Reach.
National Small Business Week Awards celebrate the sacrifices and achievements of small business owners and their significant contributions to our economy and our communities. The 30th Annual National Small Business Week was celebrated May 1-7.
Xtremely Clean Janitorial Services is an African American, woman-owned, certified business started in 2013. The business initially focused on cleaning foreclosed homes, but when the market turned, Barton looked for alternatives to sustain her business.
CJ Castro, Senior Area Director for the U.S. SBA South Florida District, was on hand to present the award.
“Wanda Barton’s vision for Xtremely Clean was built on a solid foundation,” Castro said during his presentation. “She is a person who has built a successful company and excelled along the way.”
He mentioned Barton’s multiple business certifications that have helped her to grow Xtremely Clean Janitorial Services into the business it is today. Her certifications include:
- Woman & Minority Business Certification by the City of Tampa – March 27, 2021, through March 27, 2023
- Small Business Enterprise Certification by Port Tampa Bay – November 1, 2021, through October 31, 2022
- Minority/Woman Business Certification by Hillsborough County – January 19,2021 through January 19, 2023
- Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) by the City of Tampa – April 12, 2017, through March 6, 2019
- Woman & Minority Business Certification by the State of Florida – 5/15/2020 through 5/15/2022
- Green Seal Certified since October 2013
Xtremely Clean Janitorial Services provides services throughout Tampa Bay. When Barton started as a Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County client in 2013, she had six employees and annual sales of less than $2,500. Now, the business is approaching $2 million in annual sales and 80 employees. Local, city, and state government contracting has been a large part of Barton’s growth strategy.
Barton has secured contracts with the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, Port Tampa Bay, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Department of Management Services, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and other agencies.
“Everybody knows that cleaning is not for everybody, but I will say that it is my passion,” Barton said. “I love what I do. I started my company very small. Of course, it wasn’t fun, but I knew I had to start somewhere. Today I stand here to say I am grateful that I put a lot of things aside to make sure I took my company to the next level. It was not easy, but I did it. I’m going to keep doing it as I should to take my company even further.”
While she continues to grow her business, Barton also serves as a mentor for other cleaning business owners, sharing her knowledge, passion and lessons learned, in hopes that they too can reach the success that she has.
During her acceptance speech, she credited the Florida SBDC Network, the City of Tampa, and the State of Florida with her success.
“I want to thank the City of Tampa and SBDC,” she said. “I must give special recognition to Ms. Janette because she stood alongside me and believed in me when times were hard. She was there. I could call her up at any time and just vent because it’s not easy. We run into a whole lot of challenges. There were doors that closed and I just kept knocking on them. I just kept knocking.
“I really appreciate the City of Tampa for giving me the opportunity to service them, because without the State of Florida and the City of Tampa, I would not be standing here.”
About the Florida SBDC Network:
For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy. Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 624,331 hours of professional business consulting to 58,975 client businesses, resulting in 281,831 jobs impacted; $36.7 billion in sales generated; $2.7 billion in government contracts acquired; $1.6 billion in capital accessed; and 4,520 new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.