For better and for worse, this year is not one that will easily fade into the tapestry of the 2000s. As a business, as an industry, as individuals, and as a culture, we experienced a magnitude of highs and lows, encountering new challenges that redefined patience and perseverance and also identifying g new goals that will propel us into this coming decade.
For the biofuel industry, 2020 wasn’t the most winning year. With many connected industries grinding to a halt in response to Covid-19, and thus many less cars and trucks on the road to use the fuel, spring saw our industry slowed significantly. However, just like the next day, week, and month will always come to pass, progress was still made. New Leaf has spent this year working hard on our plant expansion, which, once open in early 2021, will allow our business to more than double production from 5 million to 12 million gallons. This expansion will allow New Leaf to take a bold first step towards major growth.
But our plant isn’t the only thing growing. Despite local San Diego restaurants dealing with an incredibly challenging year amidst closures, reduced patronage, and government mandated regulations, our relationships with these important local spots have not just stayed steady, but grown stronger. To put it simply, these businesses are an essential part of our business. We are currently partnered with about 2,500 restaurants in the San Diego area, nearly 200 of which were new partnerships forged this year. We understand that dining establishments are struggling this year, and hope we have beena source of support from a sister industry. Our work with the California Restaurant Association makes this more actionable, and we look forward to continuing to stand for the interests of these businesses in the future.
Speaking of business, 2020 held a very exciting moment of recognition for our CEO Jennifer Case. She was named as one of Inc’s Top 100 Female Founders of the year. New Leaf was also featured in the San Diego Business Journal. Both of these acknowledgements were shining moments in the year, and affirming reminders that the things we work very hard on every day are making an impact.
As we worked and grew and learned through 2020, we found that it was a combination of new strategies and preexisting, reliable relationships that got us through. We’d like to take this moment on the precipice of 2021 to thank all of the local businesses we worked with this year, and look forward to experiencing renewal and prosperity together in 2021.