Written by Ainsley Jackman
San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones has been a leader since the early days of the pandemic in her efforts to keep the community on its feet in a safe and healthy way. She has taken special care in helping small businesses with a variety of initiatives, such as the COVID-19 Business Economic Recovery Plan, which provides $3 million in loans for businesses in need of relief, as well as a proactive program that allows many businesses to move operations outdoors quickly and cheaply.
She has repeatedly critiqued the arbitrary distinction of “non-essential” businesses, noting “government standing in the way of small businesses being treated differently than Walmart, Costco, Home Depot and other corporations.”
Fortunately, her latest initiative to move business safely outdoors has been echoed in both Poway and San Diego. Poway Mayor Vaus has unveiled the Sharing Outdoor Spaces initiative, which allows gyms and churches to move outdoors and continue functioning under Gov. Newsom’s new restrictions. The Poway City Council also approved his plan to continue moving small businesses outdoors using picnic table loans.
Similarly, the San Diego City Council has adopted Mayor Faulconer’s plan to allow restaurants and retail stores to quickly move their businesses to sidewalks, parking lots, and on-street parking without any required fees.
Such initiatives allow small businesses to survive and thrive in the COVID-19 era while taking precautions to protect the health and safety of the whole community. The pandemic has been a difficult test of leadership, and it’s encouraging to see our local leaders rising so well to the occasion.