KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Spanish Language Program Helps Phoenix-Area Small Business Owners

woman cutting hair
(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Lucila Copado cuts a client's hair at Passion for Beauty Spa in Goodyear.

This Thursday will mark a special occasion for two dozen small business owners across the Valley. They’ll graduate from Local First Arizona’s Spanish language accelerator program.

Lucila Copado is one of the soon-to-be graduates.

“The name of my business is Passion for Beauty Spa,” she said. “We do all kinds of service from hair-cutting to color, manicures and pedicures.”     

Copado’s passion is on display at a strip mall in Goodyear.

“I love my clients,” she said. “I like them to come here looking for my help to make them look better and I can change even the way they feel.”

But, not long ago, Copado found herself needing a boost after she moved her salon from Phoenix.

“It was far away from my clients so I would need to start all over in this area,” she says. “I was needing motivation.”

A friend’s Facebook post led Copado to Fuerza Local— which means “Local Strength” in Spanish. The six-month program provided at no cost to participants, covers topics like marketing, customer service and business planning.

Among other things, Copado said she learned how to register her company and why it’s important to create an employee manual.

“Don’t guess that they’re going to do what you do just by seeing you,” she said. “They have to have something in writing to follow when you’re not there so they know what is the proper way you want them to run your company.”  

While she’s bilingual, Copado said getting the information in Spanish is easier to grasp.

“For me, always going to be my first language is Spanish. The one that get in your brain and then go down to your heart,” she said.

Since launching the business accelerator program in 2011, the Local First Arizona Foundation said participants have generated 60 new jobs.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.