— The process was surprisingly straightforward. I learned some new terminologies in programs like Covered California for Business, made the final decision and launched our health care benefits program.

We still define our business success with traditional metrics like profit margins and net cash flow, but it’s great to know we’re doing our part to keep reducing the number of San Diegans who are uninsured, which was hovering around 12 percent in 2014.

Doing Your Part

Today, Dickinson Farm remains profitable with a stable future, and I’m happier showing up to work knowing that my employees can count on this benefit for their families.

In return, they stay with us longer and we have predictability in positions that traditionally have had higher turnover rates.

My fellow small business owners are some of the most dedicated people I know, working to keep their bottom lines healthy while creating stronger communities around them. As a group of leaders accustomed to innovating and challenging the status quo, I firmly believe we can help each other do better for our employees.

If you own a small business, especially in the farming industry, I encourage you to explore your options for providing health-care benefits; it will pay off in more ways than you realize. Together, we can set a new standard for our community. 

Stepheni Norton is owner of Dickinson Farm, which grows organic heirloom fruits, vegetables and herbs in National City.