Pandemic life has given me plenty of time to reflect. Doesn’t it feel like we took so much for granted in the Before Times? We just assumed that there would always be a restaurant for the perfect business lunch, a gym to work off our stress, and a bar for an amazing date night.
It was shocking when all of this was taken away from us when COVID-19 shuttered our beloved community. Remember your first walk downtown during the pandemic? It was so creepy to walk through it and see that our vibrant and bustling community was like a ghost town. Compound that feeling knowing there are real people behind those closed doors — people who poured their hearts into making a thriving business for the benefit of the community and their own livelihoods.
As we re-emerge into the community in 2021, we have so much to be thankful for. SLO stepped up and showed us all who we are: A community that we can all lean on to share our ideas, our good fortune, and let us know that we’re really not alone at all.
We’d like to thank all of you who worked tirelessly to ensure the survival of SLO as we know it.
The San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and Downtown SLO hit the ground running to ensure our restaurants and retail shops could pivot during the pandemic. There’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel now; while we unfortunately lost some great businesses, it’s uplifting to see new ones popping up in those spaces. These organizations made sure to include all businesses in their happenings — they did not exclusively help the downtown corridor and instead encouraged any and all business owners to engage with their resources.
SLO Food Bank faced an unprecedented demand. As so many of us struggled with loss of income, SLO Food Bank was there to help fill the gaps of food insecurity. They tripled their efforts to ensure every household had what they needed — and made it look seamless as they ramped up their work. Many businesses, including Collaboration Business Consulting, engaged in virtual food drives to help those in need. A huge thank you to our clients and friends who helped us reach our food drive goals, and to SLO Food Bank for making sure it got to where it was most needed.
Most of all, kudos to our business owners. It was amazing to see our business community stick together in these tough times. We saw so many industry roundtables and groups supporting one another. This rally of support inspired us at Collaboration, and we were happy to support our business community as much as possible. We’re proud to see that those who have been successful during the pandemic share their knowledge to help out others who were having a more difficult time.
The best part of all of this is knowing that now that we’re re-emerging into a manageable pandemic world, none of these helping hands will stop. The long-term effect is an even more tight-knit community that has seen many dark times and is even more committed to SLO’s success!