Let’s Thrive! Local Business and Our Community with guest Shawn Jones


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Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Let's Thrive! Local Business and Our Community with guest Shawn Jones

We took last week off to get our bearings (you too?) Well, things are still spinning a bit, but its absolutely amazing what’s happening in our communities, with the people and with our local businesses. Just amazing.

This week the crew is joined by Shawn Jones, CEO of Network Together and Pk Jordan, East Valley Mediator to talk about… well too much to describe here, but here are a few highlights.

  • What can I do to support local?
  • How to negotiate/re negotiate your lease
  • Business professionals and owners in need of a community?
  • What’s up with my mortgage? Do I have to pay it or no?
  • Can I still get life insurance?
  • So much more…

Episode Recap


  • Stay home, stay healthy, support each other, and we’ll get through this.
  • It’s time for business owners to negotiate their leases and other expenses.
  • Business is changing, so join a great networking organization.
  • Talk to your lender before stopping mortgage payments.

We’re Back and in Quarantine

Today, we did a quarantine show from home! The economy is changing. Where’s the chickpea pasta, everybody?! Depending on what you eat, you might just find what you want at the grocery store — like menudo! And there are tons of fruits and vegetables available. Eat healthy, stay healthy people!

We’re all about supporting local business. We’ll be taking out from Pacino’s and from Knuckle Sandwiches and Little Mesa Cafe’. Support your local businesses. We all have to support each other. Did you know that farmers markets are open? Keep a safe distance, but go get your produce — Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Gilbert.

Rent and Mortgage Negotiation during Coronavirus

PK Jordan joined the conversation from her car! She had tips for business owners about deferring rent or other payments. There was an executive order from the Governor disallowing landlords from putting tenants on the streets. As Steve mentioned, restaurants are still open for take-out.

Don’t think you can’t negotiate. Everything is negotiable. Be flexible. Make sure you talk with your landlord. If you have to, you can walk away. But you don’t want it to get to that point. Don’t take no for an answer, and start those negotiations now. It’s not just your rent. Negotiate pricing and terms with all of your vendors. You might feel stuck, but you’re not.
What about residential renters (homes, apartments) who may have been furloughed? Landlords are starting to get creative on a case-by-case basis. If you’re in that situation, write up a letter, explaining your situation. Get creative. But don’t ignore those calls and emails from your landlord. Talk to them, start the dialogue. Landlords want to work with tenants.

Remember, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay your rent! Pay what you can negotiate. If you just stop paying, it’ll catch up to you later through garnishment and judgments. So, don’t do it!

A New Way of Business Networking with Shawn Jones

Shawn Jones of Network Together, the largest non-franchise, independently owned networking organization. With what’s going on now, they have moved to an online format. Business owners all over the state can join. Network Together is for entrepreneurs and business owners, looking to gain power partners and speaking practice. They have many multi-millionaires who own multiple companies.

This group is really welcoming, not a bunch of cliches. They believe people need to come together. It’s not limited to one person per industry. They want people to develop personally and professionally, so that they can build their referrals.

In addition to individual commercials, you’ll learn about other businesses, what they’re doing to support their communities. They also break into mini masterminds to support each other. Individual members also get to present to the chapters. They also invite non-members to come in and present. Finally, they have workshops to learn best practices in so many areas, from public speaking to marketing.

Members can attend any meeting, on any day. You’re not punished for not attending, but there’s no reason not to get to a meeting.

Steve and Felecia are huge fans of Network Together. If you’re in business, this coronavirus has changed the way we used to do business. One way to help yourself is by joining groups like Network Together. Get out there and meet new people. We have to support each other.

Support the Local Community and Protect Your Interests

If you’re short of toilet paper, give Friendly a call! There have been some changes made at Friendly Auto Centers due to social distancing. They’re picking up and delivering. They line the car with plastic sheets, and they disinfect the car completely before it’s handed back after delivery. You can pay by phone or text, so there’s no handing over the virus. The waiting area is closed. There is a tent outside with distanced seating (8-foot), to protect our clients. So, get that car serviced!

Matt Watson of State Farm is an independent business owner, and he’s doing everything he can do to keep his clients and employees safe and healthy. Guess what? They still offer life insurance. Matt’s been reaching out to his senior clients to make sure they’re okay. He even dropped off some toilet paper and hand towels to a couple clients in need.
State Farm has great rates, and might be able to save you money. Not only that, but $5 for each quote straight to Salvation Army — and State Farm is matching! So, get a quote and do a good turn. Again, we’re all in this together, supporting the community. State Farm has stepped up to help you if you miss a payment. Nobody will be cancelled. They’ll spread your missed payment over several months.

In the mortgage business, things are changing hourly. Ryan shared the forbearance news. A lot of misinformation has been put out there. Some have heard that you can skip payments or put them on the back end of your term. Not true. If you forebear, the back payments will be due once this thing is over — you’ll owe it all at once. So, make your mortgage payments. Like PK recommended, contact your servicer. Don’t just skip payments. Go to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (consumerfinance.gov) to check your servicer.

Can you still get a mortgage with all this? Yes, you can still get a loan, assuming you’re still employed. The market has slowed, but VIP Mortgage is still doing a ton of loans. If you’re in the market, rates are still great. So talk to Ryan. While many mortgage companies may not make it through this, VIP Mortgage has positioned itself well with all that’s going on with locks and securities. The Fed has slowed down its pumping of money into the bond market, which will help stabilize the housing market.

People are still moving. Realtors are still showing homes. Felecia has moved to virtual 3D tours. This should make the buying process more efficient. If you’re not sure about your commitment to buying a home — stay home. Now’s not the time. Stay at home, stay healthy. Even real estate photographers are taking precautions and don’t want to touch anything. If you’re not sure about your job situation, hold off on moving forward with buying a home. Stay in communication with your lender.

Bottom line: Stay Home! Keep each other safe and live to fight another day.

Wrap Up

Until next week, Drive Friendly Arizona!


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