The Mullins Companies Weathers the Pandemic & Looks to the Future
Prior to 2020, the idea of a pandemic was not something taught in business school. No one prepared today’s leaders for what was coming and how to react. Despite this curve ball and looming rumors of a global recession, many businesses in America have persevered and will continue to persevere due to intuition, hard work, and strong relationships. The Mullins Companies is one of those businesses.
Headquartered in Augusta, GA, The Mullins Companies has 3 divisions, Live, Shop and Play. Live is the property management division that has been in operation for close to 20 years and includes Clara Point (formerly Applecross Apartments) and a range of multifamily to single family homes and commercial shopping and office spaces. During the pandemic, renters were unable to pay their rent and there was a statewide moratorium on evictions that ended on August 26, 2021 in Georgia. Due to being behind on rent, renters often would not report maintenance and repair needs which caused further issues that needed to be addressed. Renters as well as repair and maintenance contractors would also often delay work that needed to be done due to the fear of spreading the COVID-19 virus. This had a major impact on the company revenues; however, The Mullins Companies was able to maintain all of its properties and even invested in upgrades to the apartments especially when people weren’t 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.