DAVID SMALLHOUSE

Managing Director, Miramar Ventures

In what ways has your organization had to “pivot” as the short-term impacts of the pandemic took hold?

We have not experienced any major pivots besides those I think the majority of the local, regional and national business communities have had to make – more flexible work schedules to accommodate work from home, virtual meetings and no business travel.

What trends are you experiencing in your own industry, across the U.S. and globally, related to expected long-term impacts of the pandemic?

Post COVID-19, I believe many of the pivots I previously mentioned will continue in some form for efficiency plus productivity reasons. Specifically, fewer traditional in-person meetings, less business travel and if appropriate, the continuance of working away from traditional workplaces. Personally, I look forward to fewer virtual meetings with a gradual return to more in-person meetings. I know some organizations are also preparing for hybrid meetings going forward, where participants will have better options of attending remotely even if others attend in-person.

From your business vantage point, what qualities put the Tucson region in a position to recover quicker economically and more effectively than other regions?   

Tucson and Southern Arizona are already being recognized as potential winners, post-COVID-19, by many industry experts including CBRE, Moody’s and the Site Selectors Guild, to name a few. We are a midsize metropolitan community with a great university that provides world-class research, innovation and supplies talent to local companies/industry. Pima Community College also plays a significant contributing role in creating and retraining our workforce talent pool. Our beautiful desert and open space, outdoor recreational opportunities, affordable living and high quality of life are significant drivers in attracting new companies and workers who no longer need to be working at the mother ship. Our friendly cultural ties and proximity to Mexico, with our strategic logistic and transportation assets, make us very attractive for post-COVID-19 international trade and reshoring activities. 

What are some of the attributes of Tucson that you personally enjoy?

Tucson is an engaging, open and friendly community with many of the diverse cultural amenities normally available only in larger metropolitan communities. Our proximity to Mexico, the fabulous food, music and theater scene, our awesome outdoor recreation and the mountains all really impact my quality of life. The influence of the University of Arizona cannot be overstated. Not only is it an economic driver and provider of top talent, but the community members that the university attracts make us a rich place to make friends. UArizona is a huge differentiator when compared to our peer regional communities. Tucson has a special vibe and soul which is so hard to come by.

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