THREE CHEERS — Hip Hip Hooray!
This column salutes REAP businesses that are
finding ways to increase their success.
Bilingual Consulting Services helps to break the language barrier in Siouxland
As our world becomes smaller, communication faster, economies more integrated, and culture more diverse, communicating clearly and effectively presents a challenge to organizations and individuals. With that in mind, knowing that Latinos represent a huge percentage of the workforce in this community and with the support REAP offers to small businesses, Sandra Gutiérrez created “Bilingual Consulting Services” with the main goal of filling the gap of communication between the Hispanic community and the organizations that provide services for them in the Siouxland area.
Sandra, an insurance agent and a single mother of three kids offers interpreting services to accommodate the needs of non-bilingual individuals when they have appointments with lawyers, immigration offices, hospitals, and other services. The consulting side of this office is to help the Hispanic community understand their rights and services before acquiring a debt or signing a paper that will obligate them in any way. BCS focuses on helping the community understand their needs in their own language. A notary public is also available to notarize the translated documents if the notary seal is required.
Bilingual services include translation of documents, training manuals, or general information translations from English to Spanish or vice versa.
REAP helped Sandra complete a business plan. “The Rural Enterprise Assistance Project helped me tremendously with training, counseling, and a loan to establish my business and to make it grow. Today I am still receiving training from REAP to become a successful business owner,” said Sandra.
BCS will assist an organization if it doesn’t have a strategy for communicating accurately and consistently with its Spanish speaking employees. BCS will help them to better communicate as an organization across language boundaries. It can also help develop communication systems and tools to increase efficiency, decrease turnover, and boost morale.
“My financial situation was another challenge because as I was building my business I had to find other ways to provide for my family,” said Sandra. REAP helped by providing the business with a micro loan. Sandra was also the recipient of a REAP Women and Company equity award to help purchase a computer and printer for the business.
Bilingual Consulting Services is beneficial to the greater Sioux City community because it offers people a friendly hand to run the extra mile and to accurately help them. Sandra says, “We are the company helping to break the language barrier. … It is beneficial to the community and also to the individuals who have had to overcome language issues.”