Before 2020, the idea of a pandemic did not get taught in business schools. Today’s leaders were not warned about what was coming or how to react. Even with this curve ball and the looming rumors of a global recession, many businesses in America have persevered and continue to persevere due to hard work, intuition, and strong relationships. The Mullins Companies is one of those businesses.
The Mullins Companies, headquartered in Augusta, GA, has 3 divisions, Live, Shop and Play. Live is the property management division and has been in operation for close to 20 years. It includes Clara Point (formerly Applecross Apartments) and a range of multifamily to single family homes, as well as commercial shopping and office spaces. Throughout the pandemic, renters were unable to pay their rent and there was a statewide moratorium on evictions that did not end until August 26, 2021 in Georgia. Due to them being behind on rent, renters often would not report maintenance and repair needs which got worse when they were not addressed. Tenants as well as repair and maintenance contractors would often delay work that needed to be done due to the fear of contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus. This majorly impact company revenues; however, The Mullins Companies maintained all of its properties and even invested in property upgrades at the apartments especially when people were not able to pay their rent.
Shop is the retail division that works with retailers and restaurants to help bring their businesses to Flagler and the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA). Lock downs and rising building material costs impacted growth in this area for the business during the pandemic. At the start of 2022, building materials prices increased 20.4% year over year and have risen 33% since the start of the pandemic. According to Deloitte in an article released August 2, 2022, the COVID-19 recession was triggered by a sudden shutdown of consumer activity. People simply stopped eating out, traveling, and leaving the home. Roughly 40 million workers were furloughed or laid off as demand shut off and factories and offices were idled to prevent the spread of the virus. All of these factors had an impact on businesses looking to expand or relocate to new areas which impacted The Mullins Companies revenues. Travel and tourism statistics are picking up and businesses in the retail sector are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Play is the entertainment division of The Mullins Companies offering VIP accommodations to corporations and individuals. Nearly every major sports league cancelled their events. Event attendance and access were also limited which added additional negative consequences to revenues in this area. Throughout the pandemic, the company was also facing expensive legal battles that accumulated a lot of debt. Despite all the odds, The Mullins Companies continued to work and think creatively about its future.
Due to Joe Mullins’ relationships, persistence, and hard work, The Mullins Companies is starting to come back in all areas and looks forward to expanding its business interests in Flagler County and the CRSA / Augusta, GA.