Small business owners are doing everything they can to stay afloat during the pandemic. However, with new county orders in place, some businesses don’t have the money or space to operate outdoors.
The owner of Pure Indoor Cycling, Maria Disla, moved classes online after the county ordered gyms and fitness studios to stop indoor operations. Her downtown studio is fully equipped with a built-in audio system, floor to ceiling mirrors, and dozens of bikes, which is why recreating her studio outside was nearly impossible without proper funding.
“How do you do it? How do you get the right space? How do you get the right sound?,” Disla recalled asking herself.
She said she had applied for San Diego’s Small Business Relief Fund back in March but didn’t make the cut for the first round of grants. About three weeks ago, she got a call from a city representative explaining they received more funding and to reapply for the grant. Shortly after, she received her long-awaited check.
“Essentially we had to create a second studio, just outdoors,” Disla said. “We were able to use those funds to buy new audio equipment to host classes outdoors and buy additional coverage for our insurance policy.”
Disla said she and a few of her members celebrated Pure Indoor Cycle’s four-year anniversary back in class, across the street, inside a parking garage.
“The amount of support and outreach from the community has been amazing. All these steps we’ve taken to try and keep what we had indoors in our studio alive, even though we can’t do it the same way, I think them being so appreciative of it makes me realize how special what we’ve created, here, truly is,” Disla said.
Last month, during a press conference via Zoom, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced the launch of a public information campaign to encourage business owners of color to apply for a grant that can help their establishments. The funds will come from the $3.4 million County Relief Program for Small Businesses and Restaurants.
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy," Fletcher said during the press conference. "We depend on them for services, employment and we need to do everything we can to try to help them."