Pacific Coast Lumber and A Place to Grow in San Luis Obispo are still open amid the pandemic.
The businesses are owned by a married couple, Dana and Sean O'Brien, and operate on the same property. They mill urban forested lumber locally and use it to build furniture, houses and backyard structures.
A Place to Grow focuses on building outdoor garden sheds or sacred spaces.
All five employees of A Place to Grow were sent home on a temporary furlough. The goal is to bring them back when business returns. Until then, Dana is offering remote design sessions for clients.
Pacific Coast Lumber is still operating with a reduction in staff. Two employees were let go to allow essential functions to continue while practicing social distancing in the shop.
"One of the biggest items of concern is making sure we maintain social distancing," Sean said. "Three people in the shop and two people in the mill, that's just too close in the shop. I believe in what the scientists are saying, that we have maintain social distancing to stop the spread of this virus. That was the biggest factor in making the reductions we did."
Sean and Dana said steady clients and long-term projects are able to keep the businesses afloat for a few months.