Small Business Stories | National Foreign Language Month | Luz Arango

Small Business Stories | National Foreign Language Month | Luz Arango

As we celebrate National Foreign Language Month in July, it’s important to recognize and support the diverse voices and talents within our communities. In the United States, 67.8 million people speak a language other than English at home, according to the 2019 Census. Of the 67.8 million, almost 42 million people speak Spanish. By celebrating linguistic diversity, we can empower business owners who primarily speak a language other than English. One way that CommunityWorks does this is by supporting Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs like Luz Arango. 

Luz is the owner of Cali Cleaning Services, which serves the Rock Hill and Charlotte area.  A female immigrant with limited English proficiency and few opportunities, she embarked on an entrepreneurial journey that led to success as an entrepreneur. Her journey began 26 years ago when she arrived in the United States. After spending five years in California, Luz settled in Rock Hill, South Carolina. In 2016 she founded Cali’s Cleaning.  

As a female immigrant, Luz faced many challenges, including language barriers and unfamiliarity with the business landscape in the United States. Nevertheless, Luz remained undeterred. She relied on her unwavering faith in God and the support of her family to navigate obstacles. Her loved ones provided financial assistance and helped with translating her business presentations, enabling her to seek clients and establish a foothold in the market.  

Driven by her entrepreneurial spirit, Luz sought knowledge and continuously honed her skills. She familiarized herself with everything from insurance policies and pricing to cleaning techniques and marketing strategies. She embraced the learning process, constantly improving her understanding of business operations, customer acquisition, and financial management.   

One of the pivotal moments in Luz’s entrepreneurial journey was her discovery of CommunityWorks. Luz received two loans from CommunityWorks and was able to invest in her business and elevate it to new heights. Her initial loan allowed her to upgrade her computer systems, purchase additional tools, and invest in professional uniforms, enhancing the overall image of her company. With the second loan, she could afford the down payment on a passenger van, facilitating transportation for her employees to and from work. The financial support from Community Works not only strengthened her business but also instilled a renewed sense of confidence and determination within Luz.  

Luz worked with Sara Carter, CommunityWorks’ Business Support Officer, throughout her journey. The CommunityWorks Business Support team helps clients navigate the loan process, which allows them to achieve greater levels of organization in business operations.   

Just three years ago, Cali Cleaning Services generated just under $100,000 in revenue. In 2023, Luz projects that her business will double that amount—an incredible testament to her hard work, determination, and the support she received. “Thank you, CommunityWorks, for believing in me, a female immigrant with few opportunities and a big dream.”