Reflecting On The Impact Of COVID-19
By: 5th District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold

It has been almost two years since Covid-19 restrictions became “a thing.”  Thinking back, we first experienced emergency mandates early in March 2020, with the Governor’s emergency authority declaration.  Many businesses were forced to close.  We saw bars, restaurants, gyms, and event venues closed first, followed later by retail.  School children spent a year experiencing online learning, and online shopping expanded to include people that had previously shopped at local businesses.  After watching many businesses close permanently, we all became hopeful that the availability of vaccines would end the closures and restrictions, and that life would return to “normal.”  Today it seems that the previous challenges have been replaced with new ones.  For example, mandates have impacted our economy—including tourism and our school system.  We also see vaccine and mask mandates adversely affecting our businesses, education, and labor force.

Though the County has worked to provide information to businesses so they could apply for state and federal dollars to help weather the storm, businesses are still struggling.  I believe it is time to find a path to get back to a representative government and away from being governed by the few with emergency authority.  It is time to include citizens and business owners in finding solutions to the Covid-19 threat without creating problems that cause more harm.  Corrections need to be made at both the state and County level before we will be able to get back to “business as usual.”  Therefore, I encourage you to reach out to elected representatives and get involved.  The best place to get updated local information regarding all things Covid-19 is

As we watch all of this play out, I know the cost of doing business has  become problematic for businesses and consumers.  Supply chain issues, labor shortages, and rising inflation each increase the cost of doing business.  I salute the many local business owners who work hard to continue serving their community under these difficult circumstances.

I hope this year we will see policy changes that will help turn things around and work towards returning prosperity for our hardworking local businesses.  I appreciate the support provided  by the Atascadero Chamber.

Please do not hesitate to call my office at (805) 781-4339 with any questions or concerns.  It is an honor to represent you as your 5th district supervisor.

-Debbie Arnold


5th District Supervisor, Debbie Arnold

Debbie Arnold moved to San Luis Obispo County in 1973 to attend Cal Poly, she fell in love with both her husband, Steve, and the farming and ranching values that had been a part of the Arnold family way of life for more than 5 generations. While raising two children, she owned and operated a small business in Atascadero for more than 17 years. She then had the privilege of advocating for local families as a Legislative Aide at the County Supervisor’s office and as a San Luis Obispo District Representative for the State Senate. During these years, she worked with a broad range of community groups and interests, bringing people together to solve problems. Debbie Arnold now serves as the 5th District Supervisor for San Luis Obispo County.