Janet Herrick, controlling investor and owner of OEC Onsite Environmental Consulting, remembers the struggles of the Great Recession and urges people to support the hard-hit hospitality industry.
Janet Herrick’s job is outside, so social distancing at work during the coronavirus outbreak isn’t difficult.
As controlling investor and owner of OEC Onsite Environmental Consulting, she performs wildlife surveys and wetland fieldwork for clients who want to buy or build on the property.
Outside of the job, Herrick is president of the JAX Chamber West Council, chair of the Northeast Florida Builders Association Clay County Government Affairs Subcommittee, past president of Women Business Owners of North Florida and a member of CREW, CCIM and a Leadership Jacksonville steering committee.
She doesn’t expect to resume interaction with them until at least the end of April.
In addition to keeping up with her contacts on social media and virtual networking, Herrick is connecting the old-fashioned way.
“I am picking up the phone and calling people, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’” she said.
Herrick said the virus-induced lockdown affects everyone in the community.
“If they are not directly impacted by the shutdown financially, they are one degree away,” she said.
“I’m really starting to see the human behind the job title. And it’s pulling at my heart. I can feel the pain and the uncertainty.”
Herrick remembers the struggles of the Great Recession that erupted 12 years ago, when land development dried up and friends gave her part-time catering work.
To pay that back, she urges people to support the hard-hit hospitality industry.
“My eyes are open to the economic realities,” she said.
Herrick considers her business a “canary in a coal mine” because it is a first step for developers before investing in a project.
“Right now, our work isn’t being canceled. It is being rescheduled a month from now,” Herrick said March 19.
Her call volume is down, but she said that’s typical for this time in March.
This week, she’ll measure the situation and re-evaluate.
“If we start slowing down, we are an economic indicator.”