At the heart of any successful city is a robust business community. Yet, as online commerce and the impacts of COVID-19 continue to reshape the business landscape, and as big box stores and massive shopping centers continue to decline, San Marcos will need to think differently about local business (and local tax dollars).
As a starting point, we need to support local as much as possible. Spending our dining, shopping, and service dollars locally, keeps money in the region and ultimately benefits San Marcos. Spending our money locally is a reinvestment in our community, which is why Randy is a proponent of "shop and dine local" campaigns.
San Marcos must also take advantage of its geography as the "hub" of North County. Its easy access from all North County cities makes San Marcos an excellent location for a variety of businesses, including our well-known educational assets, restaurants, and craft breweries. We should continue to develop that identity by attracting more educational institutions (see Education page), more locally owned (or small chain) dining, and more craft breweries.
As San Marcos continues to be seen as a destination for school, food, and beer, it will become more attractive to larger employers who see the value, not only of a highly educated community, but a high quality of life for its employees.
RANDY'S RECORD ON HELPING LOCAL BUSINESSES
Randy is a San Marcos business owner and a longtime member of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, so he understands firsthand the challenges business owners face every day.
Randy has a proven track record of supporting and defending the San Marcos business community. In the early months of the COVID-19 emergency orders, there was no clarity that San Marcos businesses would be given the guidance and resources they needed to weather the storm. As a result, Randy championed the San Marcos Discover Our Recovery Business Promise program to provide assurances to both business owners and customers that public health was a priority. He also launched the Sunny San Marcos sticker campaign to encourage residents to visit local breweries who were struggling because of the stay-at-home orders.
In 2004, the San Marcos City Council decided to rezone a parcel of land at the corner of Ranch Santa Fe Road and Boulder Ridge Road to accommodate the placement of a second 120,000 square foot Walmart store. Randy stood hand-in-hand with concerned residents to protest the misguided decision that would have done irreparable harm to the neighborhood and to local business.
Those early protests turned into Proposition G, an initiative that reversed the city’s decision. Although the campaign was long, lively, and not without hurdles (Walmart unsuccessfully sued Randy), the people of San Marcos prevailed and kept their hard-earned money in the local economy.