COLORADO SPRINGS — As today marks the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, we're putting a spotlight on people within our local Hispanic communities, including a woman who's making sure Hispanic-owned business can succeed through a bilingual marketing agency.
Moni Herndandez is the owner and CEO of Viva Marketing and Counseling in Colorado Springs. The agency helps Hispanic-owned businesses with digital marketing, business consulting, translating, and building business.
Hernandez has worked in radio and closely with the Hispanic community in Colorado Springs for two decades, and she said she decided to start the business in March 2021, because she saw a growing need for it.
"I got to notice that a lot of Hispanic business owners, they don't have many options to go with as far as advertising goes. There's a huge need for them, they're hungry for content," said Hernandez. "There really wasn't a fully bilingual agency that can do it in Spanish and English, so that's when I thought Viva Marketing should be born, and we can cater to this untapped market."
The agency is the only female-owned bilingual agency in the Southeast part of the city. Since it began, Hernandez has been able to help nearly two dozen Hispanic-owned businesses through her work. Most of the businesses are in the south east part of the city, but she works with others across town.
Hernandez also mentioned many Hispanic-owned businesses face language barriers and had a hard time applying for grants during the pandemic, which is when her work helped many.
"These are business owners that there is definitely a language barrier. They did not apply for the PPP loan, because they had no idea how to do it. So we helped a lot of them fill out the grant applications or any type of paper work," said Hernandez. "A lot of them that did receive a $20,000 grant and were just so excited and so grateful because they needed that help."
Hernandez works closely with Loli Villarreal, the owner of Hacienda Villarreal off of E. Platte Ave in Colorado Springs. Villarreal told News5, she wasn't familiar with how to market her business before because of the language barrier between her and customers, but the marketing agency is helping to bridge the gap.
"We didn't believe in the importance of digital marketing. We didn't even know it existed," said Villarreal, who's owned the restaurant for six years. "Plus, the language barrier has definitely been a barrier. We weren't able to get any education as far as learning the English language."
Villarreal says thanks to the agency's help, the restaurant has gotten a big boost in business, and is selling a lot of food because of it.
There has been such a high demand from Hispanic business owners recently, that Hernandez says her business is growing every week, and she's looking to hire a few bilingual people to keep up with the work.
For more information about Viva Marketing and Consulting, click here.