Pandemic Times: Successful Pivoting – A Word from our President
By J. Daniel Geddis, President, Mission Hills Business Improvement District
REALTOR, Team D&B at One Mission Realty
State and local government officials have loosened restrictions on what businesses and individuals can and can’t do. San Diegans were unique in good behavior to flatten the COVID-19 curve. We abided by the directives to not gather in groups, stay at home, wear masks when going out for essential services, and practiced social distancing by staying six feet apart. And, we have been rewarded with advancement to the next stage of re-opening for many of our businesses. Though as I am writing this, Stage 3 businesses have not been given the all clear.
With the possibility of a COVID-19 spike if our behavior falters, we must remain vigilant. These continue to be different times requiring different measures.
My partner and I and our pup are part of an essential business: real estate sales services. Even so, since mid-March we have been working from home. Our office has continued to list real estate for sale, work with buyers looking for that right property, and closed real estate deals with 90+ percent of the interaction occurring online. We have utilized Google Meet and Zoom for business meetings and 3D scanning tools for immersive online-first property showings. Even before the current uncertainty the company I am employed by, One Mission Realty, invested in automation and technology. We’ve represented buyers from out-of-state and from out-of-the-country, so both were pre-pandemic necessary. Though real estate is a people dependent business, COVID-19 has now necessitated greater pivoting. I am sure those of you in other industries have similar stories of adapting.
The words “we’re in this together” have never been more true with 5.4M globally confirmed positive for COVID-19; over 6,000 of whom are in San Diego County. On a daily basis, the Mission Hills BID continues to monitor COVID-19 data and impacts and work for increased opportunities for assistance to small business owners such as increasing the Small Business Relief Fund, making Payroll Protection Program funding known to smaller businesses, and seeking a large percentage of the $248M in CARES Act funds the federal government has promised the City of San Diego. On a near daily basis, we have posted updates for all of the above on the Mission Hills BID website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We have responded to all inquiries from residents, patrons, building owners, lessors and lessees, business owners and their employees, City and County employees and more.
This pandemic has had a deep and negative impact on the financial wellbeing of the businesses in Mission Hills. Yet, our local business owners have remained open to provide essential services, in addition to preparing and delivering free meals on a regular basis to healthcare providers at nearby hospitals and to first responder fire fighters and police officers. Others have offered online sales and services including curbside pick-up and delivery of online orders and online instruction of exercise and fitness classes. Many have offered discounts to those on the frontline. Several businesses joined in cross promotions including online art competitions for free framing to the winners (Paint Box Art Studio and The Frame Maker); wellness and flower offers (Firefly Wellness and Backbone Floral and Vintage); and coffee and pastries specials (Heartwork Coffee Bar and Cardellino). We are a resilient group. These heartfelt actions serve as a foundation for our community to truly come together as we prepare for a new normal.
More news: Thanks to local graphic artist Mary Lou Morreal, the cancelled fair did not cancel placing the photos on new banners. Look up and see 67 new banners showcasing our Mission Hills business owners. Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar will offer dining service in the adjacent parking lot owned by Carin Canale-Theakston. The fallen mature jacaranda tree in front of Heartwork Coffee Bar was removed by the City of San Diego within hours of being struck by a delivery truck. Thank you! During these pandemic times, Mr.Trustee Creamery opened with a long-planned take-out window. The resiliency and ingenuity of those who choose to locate their businesses in our community in adapting to these times is inspiring.
Please visit our website at MissionHillsBID.com, or find us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for news on what’s happening in Mission Hills and for the most up-to-date information about BID goings-on.