Dear PAC & NextSpace Members,
I hope you and your family are safe. We’ve all had more than our share of hardship during this COVID-19 crisis, but there are good reasons to be hopeful. Our joint future is what I would like to address today.
Some of the dreams we had, entrepreneurial, social, or otherwise, were put on hold for a couple of months, but now might be a good time to start thinking about how we can adapt to the post shelter-in-place “new normal”, and still make these dreams a reality.
This applies to our own Pacific Workplaces (PAC) and Nextspace (NS) businesses, as we are planning for re-entry, but also to each of us in our idiosyncratic ways. Our dreams may be different, but what they have in common is that our PAC and NS communities can help, help dream together, help support each other, help adapt these dreams to a new reality.
It is incumbent upon us, as “PAC-mates” to restore the great PAC and NS communities and make them even more productive and fulfilling to our members in the new normal. So what are the concrete first steps we are taking to prepare for this? Let me mention 3 important areas:
- Insuring health & safety is going to be our #1 priority upon re-entry. We have published a new Health & Safety Protocol on our web site for our staff and members to follow, so that our locations can rightfully claim to be as safe or safer than home. This will involve hyper-sanitization, regulation of the flow of visitors to ensure physical distancing, re-arranging of seats, de-densification of our meeting rooms and open coworking space, a no-touch thermometer to screen members and visitors, and masks to wear in common areas. Please bear with us on this inconvenience necessary to protect our health and also to help reassure other members and visitors that our place is safe.
- Keep our community staff intact. I am happy to report that, in spite of a significant drop in revenue, we were able to avoid any lay-offs related to COVID-19. Not many in the flexible office space industry can say the same, and we are planning to keep it that way. Our community staff is so essential to our ability to support you and your community.
- Government assistance. Like many of you who qualify as small businesses, we have secured a PPP loan from the Small Business Administration to help us bridge over to the post-shelter-in-place shores. We are happy to share our experience with any of you on how to optimize the benefits of this program. If you were not able to qualify for the program, we can offer our thoughts and ideas on what else can be done. Don’t hesitate to reach out.
We are acutely aware of our role as host of so many SMBs. About 20,000 of them have thrived as members of our communities over our 15+ years of existence. Small businesses of less than 500 employees represent 50% of the GDP and 64% of jobs created in the past few years. No doubt, SMBs will again be the engine of recovery. You can count on us and our PAC and NS communities to bring our contribution to their success. Remember, Steve Jobs, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started as small businesses too, and despite setbacks were able to thrive past the first recession they encountered along the way!
CEO of Pacific Workplaces & NextSpace