A look ahead to life and business after the pandemic

Brian Bray

It’s been more than a month since we were ordered to stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Since then, we’ve quickly adapted to new ways of living, working and communicating.

Walks around the neighborhood, online shopping  and video calls are now our new normal. But what will life — and business — look like after the pandemic subsides?

The most populous cities in the United States have experienced the highest number of coronavirus cases. As if air pollution, the high cost of living and long commutes didn’t already offer enough reasons to make living in a big city less than desirable, COVID-19 makes it downright unattractive. In contrast, smaller cities and rural areas have seen considerably fewer cases of the virus. Thankfully, the few Mesa County residents who’ve tested positive for the virus have recovered.

There’s something to be said about a place like Grand Junction, especially at a time like this. It’s refreshing to live in a city full of people who’ve banded together to help the less fortunate while still adhering to hygiene and social distancing standards to stay safe.

Businesses similarly have adapted and implemented new practices. While almost everyone is now familiar with video conferences, some industries will think long-term to keep their staffs happy. Choosing to relocate a company is a decision made for that very reason. Many employees are thrilled to move to a community with small town charm and big city amenities. In Grand Junction, housing is affordable, Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College produce a talented work force and the quality of life is better. The Western Slope is the perfect place to relocate. Office complexes, warehouses and highly visible retail locations await.

One great example is a four-story office building under construction at 734 Main St. This 36,000-square-foot project will become one of the tallest buildings in Grand Junction. A rooftop patio will overlook downtown Grand Junction and offer breathtaking views of the Bookcliffs, Colorado National Monument and Grand Mesa. A state-of-the-art heating, ventilation and cooling system will accommodate individual preferences. A tenant can have their space built to their specifications and move-in ready in just a few months.

The building offers an ideal location for marketing and technology companies and other firms in creative fields. Relocated employees will love working within walking distance to shops and dining. That’s not to mention the nearby biking, camping, fishing and hiking.

What has the coronavirus pandemic taught us? The value of the health and safety of our family, friends and coworkers as well as communication and interaction. We’ll no longer take for granted such simple pleasures as a haircut, dinner out with friends or walking down a grocery store aisle in whatever direction we choose. We won’t hesitate to shake hands when meeting someone new, but we’ll still bring along the sanitizer. We’ll think twice before going out in public when we feel sick. Some of us might even continue working from home after falling in love with the flexibility of telecommuting. Something we’ve always experienced won’t change a bit: We’ll remain grateful to live in Mesa County.