Downtown is hustling and bustling outdoors, but still at limited capacity, not yet to pre-COVID-19 revenues.
By David Dindak
Spring has sprung and everyday we are closer to normalcy as COVID19 restrictions are being lifted. It’s been a tough year for many, but the clouds are clearing.
The Morgan Hill Downtown Association has continued to engage. We recently partnered with Morgan Hill Community Foundation and ran a successful Meals for Heroes program inviting restaurant participants citywide, not just from downtown. The $18,000 we raised enabled the reimbursement of 15 restaurants serving up to 60 meals at a time to our healthcare heroes at St. Louise Regional Hospital and De Paul Medical Center.
Gilroy, our sister to the south, created its own arm as the Gilroy Community Foundation collaborated with the Gilroy Downtown Business Association.
Thanks to all those who donated and kudos to large contributors Trammell Crow Morgan Hill Ventures, Paramit Group, EMC Planning Group, Pinnacle Bank Morgan Hill, IBM, South Valley Lodge, and Woodmont Real Estate for helping our restaurants in their time of need and providing well-deserved meals to our heroes.
Please remember to continue supporting your local businesses. Downtown is hustling and bustling outdoors, but still at limited capacity, not yet to pre-COVID-19 revenues.
Other community-wide events on the table should COVID-19 numbers continue to fall, are Freedom Fest celebration, Friday Night Music Series, and the Taste of Morgan Hill. Be on the lookout for more information on those promising experiences.
Along with eight other entities including the Chamber of Commerce and Visit Morgan Hill, MHDA tendered a letter to Caltrans requesting funds for beautification along the Morgan Hill stretch of U.S. 101 corridor. First impressions are everything and we all agree that the passageway through our city is in dire need of aesthetic landscaping similar to parkways in neighboring communities. Hopefully, they will answer our appeal.
On another note, current Chamber board member and former councilmember Larry Carr, and MHUSD Superintendent Steve Betando worked with Safeway-Albertson’s to provide COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Sobrato High School and the Community & Cultural Center during the past several weeks. MHDA City Liaison and councilmember John McKay spearheaded operational logistics. Morgan Hill Rotary along with other volunteers manned the workstations. And several supporters have been sponsoring lunch to those serving. About 350 to 500 members of our community were vaccinated each day.
Al fresco dining and outdoor retail will likely be the mantra going forward for quite some time. That means more people outside walking along and crossing the downtown streets. To support our restaurants, retail, and enhance pedestrian safety for all visiting downtown, the city is discussing implementation of traffic calming along Monterey Road closing one lane in each direction. This will provide opportunity for businesses to build parklets accommodating an open-air experience and more walkable-friendly downtown. Keep your radar on for more information from the city.
That’s all for this month, folks. Stay safe, healthy, and keep vaxing and masking.
David Dindak is the president of the MHDA President and the co-owner of Bubbles.