As we near another Small Business Saturday, our thoughts naturally progress to our own local, small business. The concept of Small Business Saturday was born in 2010 and each year the support for local, small businesses grows contributing to the local economy of those small businesses. Small retail shops, restaurants, spas, doggie daycares, and cafes in our neighborhoods, around our city, and throughout the state contribute in large ways to our economy. Through job creation, competitive pay, sourcing of local merchandise, and friendly competition, these homegrown storefronts keep us moving forward.

So where does Indianapolis Interpreters fit in? While we can’t sell you the latest runway fashions or locally grown organic produce, we do provide language services in the form of American Sign Language, spoken language interpretation, and document translation across the state. In providing these services, we support over 200 other local as well as national businesses address their communication needs and thrive in the process.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of interpreters and translators is expected to grow 42 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.” Over the last 12 years, our office has grown to include 10 full-time staff members, a group of local business consultants, and over 350 freelance interpreters across the state of Indiana.

Indianapolis Interpreters provides a unique benefit to interpreters – the ability to set their own schedules. This means that our jobs are open to a wider range of individuals including students, retired persons, stay-at-home parents, and those working in other fields in addition to interpreting. Being a company that’s open 24/7, we accommodate interpreters who can work evenings, late nights, weekends, and everything in between, helping them fit their interpreting work around other jobs, child care, and personal commitments.

While we continue to grow each year, our process for accepting new interpreters becomes more competitive and stringent. In addition to submitting to standard background checks, our interpreters are required to pass a language proficiency assessment (LPA) and complete a 40-hour medical interpretation course, Bridging the Gap. Many of our interpreters are students completing their studies at local colleges and universities. Others come with doctorate and master’s degrees from around the United States and foreign countries. We provide a stream of resources and opportunities for further professional development for all of our interpreters throughout the year and assess performance and progress regularly as part of our commitment to hiring competent and professional interpreters.

Indianapolis Interpreters partners with Exodus Refugee to provide work opportunities and occupational training for the refugees who are resettled through that organization. Creating local employment opportunities is not only essential to the successful transition for these immigrants, but also supports the economic growth of our state. We are thrilled to be a local small business, and we hope you’ll come by and see us in action sometime. But until then, remember that Small Business Saturday is on November 30th, so whether you’re wrapping up your holiday shopping or just getting started, shop local and show your support to local businesses.