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Our view: Small business needs help, this Saturday and beyond

By   /   Sunday, December 6th, 2020  /   Comments Off on Our view: Small business needs help, this Saturday and beyond

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What started as a relatively modest promotion be American Express called Small Business Saturday has taken on new meaning in this year of COVID-19.

And it makes all of us bigger people if we express our gratitude by supporting the myriad independent businesses in our communities during this holiday season.

We’ve learned painfully how important neighborhood restaurants, wine bars, retail stores, pizza parlors and bakeries are to the way of life we cherish in the Tri-Counties.

Many have curtailed or shut operations and most are operating on a shoestring. Thousands got help earlier this year via emergency loans or grants, but those funds will not last forever. That means, more than ever, your neighborhood store or restaurant is dependent on your patronage to keep it going. We know about this in up-close-and-personal way because Pacific Coast Business Times is itself an independent business with no deep-pocketed corporate parent to fund our operations.

We are grateful to our subscribers, our advertisers and our sponsors for making this year one that has been sustainable, albeit with plenty of challenges. But we are fortunate—our doors have remained open, and the news we publish has value for our readers, who themselves are trying to survive the pandemic.

But the bottom line is that every small business is part of an ecosystem, a community of suppliers and customers that support it and are in turn supported. One of the lessons of the pandemic—regulators, please take note—is that the ecosystems that support many small businesses are resilient but once they begin to break down, it is hard to make them whole again.

On the Central Coast we have been through a lot over the past few years: Massive fires, deadly debris flows, mass shootings and a tragic dive boat disaster have upended life for many small businesses. With few notable
exceptions, they have been able to recover. But the pandemic has challenged all of us.

To the hearty group of small businesses who have
toughed it out and are survivors, Small Business Saturday is a big deal. We owe them our patronage and our

Gov. Gavin Newsom has made a bet on the future of the Central Coast as a hub for renewable energy by picking Dawn Legg-Ortiz to fill the late Adam Hill’s post on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors.

When we first met her a decade ago, Legg-Ortiz was a project manager and team leader for some of the largest solar projects anywhere in California.
Her advocacy helped push some on the left to embrace the idea of utility-scale solar on private property in rural San Luis Obispo County. And the development of utilityscale solar has played a role in PG&E’s decision to not renew the license for the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant when the licenses for its two reactors expire at mid-decade.

Her appointment comes a couple of years after an unsuccessful run for the State Assembly seat now held by Republican Jordan Cunningham. Legg-Ortiz will spend the rest of Hill’s term working with community and other groups on planning for the transition from operations to decommissioning at Diablo Canyon. Her knowledge of the energy field should serve her well.

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