Santa Barbara Group making a splash with Facebook Group “Support Santa Barbara Biz Online”

With almost 5,000 members, the facebook group “Support Santa Barbara Biz Online” is one of the most active support networks in town, offering information about local businesses that have been hardest hit by the effects of the stay-at-home orders. Created by Joe Parker, Garrett McCaw, and Avi Becker of the Santa Barbara Group at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, this week the group added zoom interviews to the already engaging community platform. We sat down – remotely – with Joe Parker to hear a bit more about the inspiration behind their efforts. 

Q) Before you tell us about your activities related to the pandemic, give us some background on yourself and your team.

A) I am a Santa Barbara native. I attended SBHS and UCSB before becoming a Realtor in 2001. I formed the Santa Barbara Group in 2007 with Garrett McCaw.  Our newest member, Avi Becker, joined the team in late 2018 after graduating from UCSB; all three of us are Gauchos. Our philosophy is all about being of services to our clients and adding value to their real estate transactions. We do this by being accessible, listening, strategizing, sharing market knowledge, and utilizing the inner networks we are a part of. At the national sales convention we attended earlier this year in Nashville Tennessee, we were honored as 10 Year Legends for being in the top 1% in the nation for 10 years in a row within the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties network.

Q) How did the idea hatch for your facebook group Support Santa Barbara Biz Online?

A) I was on the phone with Avi about a month ago right when the stay at home order began. We were brainstorming about what we could do to help. Avi recently organized a documentary film screening to raise money for Surfrider. In that spirit, the idea for the group hit me. I sat down at my computer, opened facebook, and set up the group. Avi and I filmed an intro video and then we all started to work on growing it

Q) Has there been anything surprising that you’ve noticed since you started the group? 

A) The camaraderie  of the group is really strong and the level of support has been inspirational. This is filling the gap left by the social distancing order and allowing us to come together in a localized way online.

Q) Do you have a favorite story about how people have come together to help each other? 

A) There are many, but the things I love to see most are how businesses are adapting and staying in the fight. Restaurants, retail stores and service providers have all recreated the way they do business. Platforms like this facebook group are a perfect way to experiment while getting their message out. People are working hard and making a lot less; it is inspiring!

Q) What do you hope people remember when they look back on this time? 

A) I hope we can look back at this time and think that as hard as it was, it enabled us to take a new path towards greater awareness of what is truly important in life. I see it as a catalyst for new opportunities to emerge that are aligned with this greater awareness. These are exciting times!

Q) Anything else you’d like to share? 

A) Lets continue to grow the community at Support Santa Barbara Biz Online so we can support our local businesses. We all need each other right now so lets approach every day with a service to others mindset. I am so grateful to be a part of this community. It is remarkable.

Reach the Santa Barbara Group at 805-886-5735 or info@thesantabarbaragroup.com. Visit the facebook group Support Santa Barbara Biz Online.

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