For Bolivar Jimenez, the owner of L & P Gates Co., Inc., a full service metal fabrication company, offering valued service and quality workmanship to his customers is what success is ultimately about. L & P Gates was established in 1991 by two brothers, Bolivar and Manuel Jimenez, who learned all about the manufacturing of custom iron gates and railings by working at their uncle’s shop in Jersey City, New Jersey before launching their own business. L & P designs, manufactures and installs wrought iron fencing, automatic gates, metal stairs, ornamental fencing and gates, railings and structural steel.
The Jimenez brothers recognized the opportunity that Hartford presented for a business like theirs when delivering and installing in the area. Once they established a location in the city, they focused on marketing and advertising and were able to build name recognition and a solid customer base.
When the recession hit and building came to a halt in the mid-2000s, the owners recognized that they had to change their business model in order to survive. Bolivar joined the Connecticut Minority Construction Council and began to network extensively with other contractors who encouraged him to investigate federal and state contracting opportunities.
When Bolivar became the sole owner of the business, he decided to focus on government contracting and ultimately won a coveted contract working on the Connecticut Convention Center which opened to the public in 2005, an award-winning venue owned by the state of Connecticut. This opportunity has given Bolivar the confidence to continue networking and led him to compete for larger projects.
As the company grew, Bolivar sought bank financing and began working with Kevin Kickery at Farmington Bank who provided L & P with a $150,000 SBAExpress loan to purchase the materials needed for new state contracts for Goodwin College and M D Fox Elementary School in Hartford.
L & P Gates is an excellent example of a successful minority-owned company that employs 13 full-time staff including family members and most importantly Bolivar’s wife, Evelyn, who is the bookkeeper. Bolivar and Evelyn’s sons, Ismael and Joel, have joined the family business which ensures that L & P Gates will continue to operate for years to come.