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  • Bright Spots in Unprecedented Times: Local Businesses Pivot & Adapt During COVID-19

    2020 has taken its toll on everyone, and our local businesses were far from exempt. From the stay at home orders to ever-changing regulations, businesses continue to face an incredibly challenging and unprecedented time.

    While things have been hard, an impressive number of businesses have found ways to use the current volatile landscape to their advantage, and the advantage of our local community. Here are some of the bright spots our local businesses have seen through creative problem solving and adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Putting Live Theatre Online

    “With both our theatres and conservatory training programs shut down, PCPA was able to keep its staff employed and patrons engaged by producing virtual programming, including workshops, seminars, play readings and its holiday cabaret . In addition, PCPA has been able to stay in partnership with the schools through its many workshops designed for the classrooms, including providing 75 Technical Theatre Career workshops for high school students and, at last count, over 50 interactive workshops for all grades in both acting and technical theatre.”

    - Maria Centrella, PCPA Theatre

    Expanding Outdoor Options

    “At the Moxie Cafe we kept our doors open by focusing on our patio dining. We doubled our outdoor dining space by outfitting our lawn area with appropriately spaced table and chairs. There is no reason why we still cannot partake of healthy food during the pandemic!”

    - Jay Hardy, Moxie Cafe

    Finding Strength in Resilience

    "In difficult times, rather than retreat, our management team leaned in: we added staff in key areas, invested in technology, rolled out new and enhanced services and became more efficient. Our 2020 success was embracing our culture of being nimble and decisive and never was that more valuable than during an unprecedented time in our history."

    - Ron Yukelson, Wilshire Health & Community Services

    Expanding Staff & Clients

    "In January we added a new partner to our Firm. Ben Watson has been instrumental in helping the Firm continue our superior client service while growing at a double digit rate in spite of COVID. He is an excellent addition and we are so thankful for him."

    - Patrick McDermott, McDermott & Apkarian, LLP

    New Referrals & Expanded Reach

    "I am seeing more out of town clients with referrals from community members and businesses that provide services and resources to our aging population: Dignity Health, Home Health Care agencies, Area Agency on Aging, Hospice, Chamber, local podiatrists, and social networking. I've been able to do more networking from home via the Chamber zoom meetings, and I don't have to fight traffic to get anywhere!"

    - Tara Hoffman, Tara's Mobile Footcare

    Shortening Project Completion Times

    "We were able to complete a City contract in a expedited fashion due to the low volume of traffic reducing the duration of lane closures and project completion time thus reducing the public impact."

    - Butch Lopez, V. Lopez Jr. & Sons

    Using Virtual to Expand Client Base

    "I have been able to pursue my consultation business more in-depth. Since the work has gone remote, I am not limited to providing consultation in my areas of specialty to businesses and other therapists just in Santa Maria, I am actively providing consultation to businesses all over CA now! I plan to go beyond CA by next summer!"

    - Greta Pankratz, Santa Maria Counseling

    Embracing the Virtual Environment

    "As far as internal day to day we have pivoted from paperwork orders to semi-paperless. We have seen a significant reduction in the amount of office paper we are using. We have tried for many years to go paperless. This was the push we needed to get it fully implemented. We used to keep much of our work logs on clipboards, we now use the cloud to do that tracking. This has made our work more efficient. We have setup zoom office wide, so we can now communicate with the whole team in a few clicks when announcements used to be made in meetings or by making a tour around the shop. So, we have had a win for both efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint."

    - Jordan Sheppard, Signs of Success, Inc.

    Staying Connected in a Virtual Environment

    "The Rotary Club Santa Maria went ahead with a virtual fundraiser during Covid-19. All our bidders were delighted with affordable auction items and the 5 charities we selected as beneficiaries were extremely pleased with the results!"

    - Virginia Souza, The Rotary Club Santa Maria

    Filling the Needs in our Community

    "Hancock College pivoted to meet the needs of our community through a food share program. Allan Hancock College Santa Maria campus became an Emergency Food Distribution site to provide a much needed service in our community."

    - Kevin Walthers, Allan Hancock College