How can it get any better than spending the day at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and learning about business and tourism in Santa Cruz County. Kris Reyes, Director of Community Relations, welcomed the class to the Boardwalk and spoke to them about the travails of getting through the pandemic. It was the first time in the history of the Boardwalk that they had to miss an entire season. The company had to do its best in taking care of its employees during the shutdown. The discussion gave Class 37 valuable insights on how difficult it was to get through this difficult period.
Alex Pedersen, Director of the Santa Cruz Small Business Development Center (and current class member) followed this with a presentation on how the organization provides assistance for startups and businesses requiring funding. Next up, the class engaged with two panels - one on the topic of Small Business Survival and another about Tourist Serving Businesses. The class received a good overview of the challenges and opportunities of running small businesses here in the county after hearing from hoteliers, a winemaker, and a local news provider.
After lunch, the class received a broad overview of tourism. Terence Concannon, CEO of Visit Santa Cruz County, shared his vision for how VSCC is ensuring that Santa Cruz County is seen as a world class destination site. Then the class had the opportunity to visit local businesses - Record Records, 11th Hour Coffee, and Iveta Gourmet, to tour examples of successful businesses.
The day ended with a well-deserved behind-the-scenes tour of the Boardwalk from Advertising Director and Past President of Leadership Santa Cruz County, Sondra Woods (pictured above).
Thank you to our sponsors!