Tax Refund Fueled Her American Dream

Business owner feature

When tax season came around for Diana about a decade ago, she had big plans for using her tax refund check that would end up changing her life.

“I didn’t want to take out any loans – that’s why I used my tax refund to start my business,” said Diana Young, Founder and CEO Transcend Maintenance Services, Inc.  “I bought all brand new equipment that I now own and that’s what was important to me as I started out.”

Based in Burlington, Massachusetts – Transcend Maintenance Services, Inc. is an SBA-certified janitorial service provider with private and public sector clients across the state.  

Diana started in the cleaning industry as a custodian in the 1980’s and worked her way up employed in commercial cleaning and maintenance companies as custodian, manager, and VP of operations.  

In 2014, she took that leap of faith venturing on her own with the belief that starting a small business was her way of giving back to the country that gave her the freedom to succeed.  

Investing in yourself

Diana immigrated to the United States from Colombia in 1989 as a single mother looking for a better life for herself and her son.  Once she arrived in America, she immediately found work in the cleaning industry.

The company was built on a foundation of her hard work and perseverance – TODAY, providing jobs for over 72 employees that offer services throughout New England.

Young made a conscious decision to invest in herself after receiving her $2,200 tax refund payment.  There was nothing to lose after she left her job, while going through several personal hardships through those fateful years.

Her son Giovanni who was working as an accountant at that time, helped her register the business, proving that being resourceful; and finding a way to make YOUR DREAMS come true is truly up to you!

“For me, it wasn’t about how much money I had – it’s how you invest it in yourself and how much you can give back by using it wisely,” said Young.

Getting certified took persistence

While working for her previous employer, another 8(a) certified company – she learned about government contracting and the different certifications her small business would qualify for.  

Shortly after forming her business, she was eager to apply and begin the process for certifying Transcend Maintenance Services too.  However, she learned that to get certified, a small business must demonstrate the potential for success first by being in business for at least two years.

Young didn’t get discouraged though, she stayed persistent building her business and applied again later when her company worked on meeting all of the program qualifications.  When time came and she applied for the first time, she didn’t have enough revenue yet – so she was advised to pull the application instead of getting a rejection. 

Transcend Maintenance Services, Inc. became certified 8(a) in January of 2020, and today after the pandemic, has grown about 30%.  Young kept acquiring clientele throughout the crisis by performing Covid disinfecting services to corporate office buildings and municipal buildings.  The City of Lowell and City of Chelmsford contracted Transcend Maintenance Services for all city-owned buildings.  

Diana has continued expanding her business in the public sector through the years, obtaining several certifications, including the City of Boston’s Small Local Business Enterprise and Minority Women Business Enterprise; Commonwealth of Massachusetts SDO’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Minority Business Enterprise; and the SBA’s 8(a), WOSB and EDWOSB.

“Today I have a healthy savings and I’m about to buy my building,” said Young. “I have a credit line with my bank Digital Federal Credit Union to run the business, I have no debt and everything I have is profits that I have saved.  I’m so blessed and thankful for this country for opening doors for me.”

Recently, Diana completed SBA’s THRIVE program – a training series for high-potential small business executives designed to support expansion and accelerate growth.

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.