Aske-based cleaning business thrives despite pandemic

Rural Cleans staff working in a domestic property.

A cleaning business based at Aske Hall near Richmond is thriving after having to adapt because of the pandemic.

When the Covid-19 crisis began, Stephanie Flint, owner of Rural Cleans Ltd, discovered she was not eligible for much of the Government support available to businesses.

Due to growth in her company she had registered for VAT, and incorporated as a limited company, in early March 2020.

This meant that she was classed as a new business just as the first lockdown began.

Rural Cleans was missed out of the main grants because they did not have a premises, and were only given help with the furloughing of the staff and a small discretionary grant issued from Richmondshire District Council.

Stephanie realised that she had to change her business model and fight to survive.

Rural Cleans was predominantly a holiday let cleaning company, servicing luxury holiday lets in the Yorkshire Dales.

Lockdown meant that these properties were no longer taking bookings and Stephanie’s business dried up overnight.

Stephanie said: “We went from a growing business with lots of regular properties cleaned on a weekly basis to absolutely nothing, and we had no idea at the time how long this would last for.”

Thinking outside the box, Stephanie took on different types of cleaning contracts, mainly for large corporate companies and their premises.

Rural Cleans now a team that cleans huge factories every day for billion pound companies, as well as domestic cleaning for mansions and stately homes.

Stephanie added: “This commercial cleaning has led us to create a brand new department for Rural Cleans, allowing us to grow the team, and we are on target to actually increase turnover by almost 50 per cent in 2021.

“There are not many businesses in this position after the year that we have had and we are very proud to have come out of the other side fighting.”

Stephanie is a trained dental nurse and she says hygiene is very important to her.

“We are fastidious and clean every property with a disinfecting fog as standard.

“With a highly infectious disease taking over the world, this has put us in an excellent position.”