VIP Collision owner Jesus Rodriguez (center) has worked closely with the South Valley BusinessSource Center to open and grow his business. The South Valley BSC recently helped Jesus secure a loan to expand in Canoga Park.
The South Valley BusinessSource Center has built a longstanding relationship with entrepreneur Jesus Rodriguez, guiding him over the course of seven years from the opening of VIP Collision, his auto body and collision repair center in San Fernando Valley, toward an upcoming expansion in Canoga Park.

Jesus was born in Choluteca, Honduras, a regional transport hub along the Pan-American Highway smacked between El Salvador’s eastern and Nicaragua’s western-most borders. When he was 11-years-old, Jesus began working at an auto-body shop where he washed cars by day, and attended adult education classes at night. He started working full-time at age 15, welding, sanding and painting cars.

At age 25, Jesus left Honduras for Los Angeles. He spent 13 years working at high-end paint and body shops managing and instructing colleagues when he decided to start his own business.

In 2011, Jesus visited the South Valley BusinessSource Center for assistance in starting his business. The center’s business consultants helped Jesus fine-tune his business plan, obtain necessary permits and licenses, and connect with the local WorkSource Center to find qualified employees.

Jesus opened the doors to VIP Collision in August 2012, and has turned it into an unqualified success.

Today, VIP Collision employs seven full-time staff, services hundreds of cars per year, and is looking to purchase a new building and expand operations to multiple locations. Jesus received a startup loan for $138,750 and was able to purchase an existing auto body and paint shop.
Jesus Rodriguez opened the doors to VIP Collision in August 2012
Jesus Rodriguez cutting the ribbon at the grand opening of VIP Collision in August 2012

Jesus has continued to use the South Valley BusinessSource Center for assistance with marketing, HR assistance, logo design, as well as reviewing and revising contracts and agreements for his customers, access to capital, and certification to become an Insurance Agency (Infinity) Referral Shop.

On November 28, 2017, VIP was approved and funded $935,000 towards the purchase of commercial property in Canoga Park. Jesus is currently waiting for escrow to close and plans to expand his business by mid-June 2018.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of 1/22/2018. Read this issue and more.