SAN MARCOS — Elected officials and leaders representing San Marcos celebrated May 18 after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that more counties may soon be allowed to accelerate their reopening process.
City and county leaders have been vocal in recent weeks about their efforts to reopen the city as weeks-long stay-at-home orders are leaving many businesses struggling to avoid shutting down permanently.
County Supervisor Jim Desmond, who represents San Marcos, released a video last week pointing out that “we can safely get thousands of people a day through grocery stores, but not a furniture store, not an electronic store, nor a car dealership can be fully open for business.”
San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones has also been vocal about restrictions on businesses. She told The Coast News that she believes all businesses are essential because they employ people.
“We should treat all business equitably. I believe that small businesses should be able to apply the same protocols as Walmart, Target or Costco to their businesses and be able to stay open,” Jones said. “It doesn’t make any sense to me because it’s showing favoritism to some bigger retailers because they happen to sell food.”
More than 90% of businesses in San Marcos are small businesses, and many of them are not open because of statewide lockdown restrictions.
“All of a sudden, we’re putting an added burden on smaller businesses that now need to come up with a website or shipping strategies so people can still shop and businesses can offer their goods online,” Jones said.
Desmond and Jones share the same sentiment in calling for the county to have full authority over when and how to open its businesses.
“We are a government of, for and by the people,” Desmond said in his published video. “And we the people of California are facing the state’s new restrictions that hold our jobs and our economy hostage.”
Jones told The Coast News that the city of San Marcos is preparing their local business owners and encouraging them to be ready to open up with new restrictions and safety measures in place as they wait for the green light.
“We need to start moving forward,” Jones said. “Shutting down business and the economy for a prolonged period of time doesn’t make sense. We were asked to do so to help flatten the curve, but we’re not going to eradicate the virus, we were never asked to eradicate it.”
Newsom’s latest revision to loosen restrictions will be based on each county’s ability to increase testing and stabilize their hospitalization and case rates.