As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, San Diego’s economy has taken a beating, just like much of the world. An analysis of six months of the impacts of the pandemic paint a bleak picture: at least 176,000 people left unemployed in San Diego, and $4.8 billion in wages lost in those first six months alone.
With no signs of slowing down, the pandemic is continuing to weigh on the San Diego economy. So, how can San Diego’s economy recover?
San Diego native and serial entrepreneur Sawyer Winston has a few ideas, and his outlook is more optimistic than you might think. As a driving force in the San Diego entrepreneurial scene, we caught up with Winston to hear his insight, and why he’s positive San Diego will bounce back.
Sawyer, you operate pretty quietly, but tell us about your background?
I’ve definitely flown under the radar for most of my life, which is my preference, but I’ve been involved in the San Diego scene since I was a teen.
I’ve been fascinated with business and entrepreneurship since I was about 10-years-old, and in my teens I started taking on some pretty large projects and roles. I was always eager to be involved in different kinds of businesses, and also in things that involved the San Diego community.
Tell us about your business experience.
I’ve owned or managed about 10 different companies from my early 20’s until now. Through on that journey, some of my projects grew to be quite large, and even had international components to them.
But in all of my businesses, I’m always driven by curiosity. I love piecing together people, skills, and individual components to create something much larger than any of those parts.
How has coronavirus impacted the San Diego economy?
San Diego has a huge and thriving start up scene, and I’ve always been impressed by the entrepreneurial energy of the place. But that being said, we know that this pandemic could end up costing the San Diego regional economy more than $12 billion, and that certain industries are being hit harder, such as tourism, retail, and education.
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Unfortunately, it appears that it’s going to be a little while until the economy is able to start its journey to recovery. But I’m optimistic about the recovery here in San Diego.
I think that San Diego really does have a special energy about it, there’s a ton of ideas and innovation here. I think that the government is going to take some steps to help the recovery. We’ve already seen that there are a good amount of resources for business and entrepreneurs. But mostly I think that the people behind the scenes here are not down and out, even if they’re struggling right now, they’re going to bounce back.
What’s next for you?
My current project is one that I’m very excited about, and it’s involving real estate. I’ve made it my mission to help communities which are facing economic hardships, and help jump start them.
I’m really excited about the prospects of this plan, because it’s something I plan to repeat in different places, and I think it could be really beneficial to the people in these communities. I think this is more important now than ever before, given the economic restraints of the pandemic.