September 29, 2019
Patty Rodriguez grew up in San Francisco’s Mission District and got her start in the parking industry through a job as an administrative assistant while she was in college. After roles in other parking companies, she took the leap in 2011 to start her own small business and founded SF Parking.
After conventional banks turned her down for the capital she needed for her new business, she went to the San Francisco Office of Small Business, who referred her to Working Solutions. In 2012, Working Solutions approved Patty for a $25,000 loan to purchase equipment needed to grow her business.
Seeking to expand her services and grow further, she turned to Working Solutions again in 2018, receiving $40,000 through the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund in San Francisco, a collaborative partnership of three CDFIs—Working Solutions, Pacific Community Ventures, and ICA Fund Good Jobs—funded by JPMorgan Chase.
In conjunction with each loan through Working Solutions, Patty has gained access to free business advice and technical assistance. With her most recent loan, Patty has received more than 10 hours of personalized business consulting, focusing on executive coaching for growth management; refining the company’s growth strategy; and navigating capital options.
Today, SF Parking oversees two 15-car parking lots in San Francisco and manages the employee garage at San Francisco International Airport. Patty envisions SF Parking’s expansion beyond a regional company. Recently she received a federal certification, Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, that will allow her to apply for contracts in other parts of the country.
Since getting her first loan from Working Solutions in 2012, Patty estimates she has employed more than 200 people in full-time and part-time jobs, including formerly incarcerated individuals. Believing in second chances, she says, “Providing a job gives that person a chance to move on with their lives and stay out of trouble. They’ve paid their debt, and all they want to do is put their life right. Just give them a chance.”
Patty wants to continue doing good business and providing quality jobs for the San Francisco and Bay Area communities and those needing help getting back on their feet. In addition, she wants to leave a legacy. “I want to be able to leave something for my children and future generations of our family,” she says. “This is now a family business. For me, I’d love for my kids and grandkids to continue the family business and make it their own.”