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Boom Times for Cleaning Industry Franchises

The factors wreaking havoc everywhere--the real estate boom, outsourcing and swine flu--are fueling a boom in the cleaning business.

This story appears in the February 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It's become cliché over the last few months to label a that has eked out even a tiny bit of growth as -proof or recession-resistant. But consider this--of the 10 fastest-growing franchises measured by Entrepreneur's Franchise 500®, six were commercial cleaning companies. That's downright recession-defiant. How can one sector expand so confidently when even traditionally aggressive franchisors have slowed?

Commercial cleaning franchises were primed for growth even before the market collapse. According to a 2006 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the industry was expected to expand its workforce 14 percent by 2016, and according to industry insiders, there's no reason to think that number won't be easily met. That's because commercial cleaning has ridden two opposing trends--the massive expansion of office space throughout the earlier part of the decade and the need to eliminate employees and cut costs during the recession.

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