Presented by The Morro Bay
Chamber of Commerce
The COVID-19 crisis has left a lot of business owners in limbo of receiving unemployment benefits and unable to receive Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding. Without the future guaranteed, many business owners have transitioned into survival mode and have secured additional jobs to help them get by.
Lynsey Hansen is a certified massage therapist in Morro Bay who has been resourceful in finding additional work while she waits for the approval to operate her business again. It looks like it may be a while still, as the Governor’s plan has the personal care industry delayed in opening compared to the retail, restaurant and gyms.
Luckily, Lynsey was able to quickly get some work with the Garden House, an elder care and dementia living facility in Morro Bay, to provide housekeeping and shopping services. Before the pandemic, Lynsey worked with residents and employees as a massage therapist; the latter of which was through their employee wellness program. However, she has been unable to provide those services since the closing of non-essential businesses.
“The extra safety precautions taken to protect residents are rigorous,” said Lynsey. “Since family members have been unable to come and visit their relatives at the facility, I do my best to spend time talking to (albeit in a mask) and doing activities with the residents when I am done with my workload.”
Lynsey has also picked up work being a personal assistant for someone who needs help in their home and running errands three to four times a week. And while she has been thankful to have work, she is also running out of steam since she’s working twice as hard to make half as much, all while in a global pandemic.
The Masterpiece Hotel in Morro Bay is an icon on Main Street heading into downtown and has been one of the few hotels with cars still in their parking lot. At the request of the City of Morro Bay, hotels have been asked to limit promotions bringing travelers into the area from out of town in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the region. Rather than turning off the lights and boarding up the newly renovated hotel, Masterpiece has been offering low rates to locals who need somewhere to shelter in place.
“We understand that not everybody has a home to go to and that there are people who need somewhere to stay while family members ride out sicknesses,” said Amber Clark, general manager. “We are doing what we can to support our community and local businesses, while maintaining the CDC’s protocols to ensure the safety of our guests.”
The hotel regularly promotes local restaurants on social media, shares the up-to-date list of available takeout and delivery options with guests, and has modified their services to accommodate the new regulations.
The Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce created Rock Solid Together, a continuing series of stories about people and businesses in the community going above and beyond during the coronavirus crisis. They can be reached via their website at MorroChamber.org.