San Diego's biggest business groups are lining up in support of Proposition D, which links a sales tax hike to a series of fiscal reforms. But that doesn't mean the business community as a whole backs the measure.
Even though organizations such as the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation endorse Prop. D, it was their boards of directors taking that stand. There's a lot of disagreement in the membership ranks and many small business groups and firms urging a "No on D".
"I'm going to do a thousand signs and when they're out, they're out," said business owner Manny Marin. "We've given out maybe 50 signs in the last few days. I've only been doing this for a few days."
Marin supports -- but has no connection to -- the No on D campaign. On his own dime, he's churning out signs for like-minded customers and passersby for free, from his "Printing on Fifth Avenue" shop. He'll stop before the total cost of the signs tops $1,000, otherwise, he'd have to file disclosure reports with the city.
Is fighting a sales tax hike worth that cost?
"I just said, 'enough's enough', and then I started researching this and that's when it opened my eyes. I said, 'you know, I need to do something’."
Big business leaders are throwing their weight behind Prop. D. and there's major money bankrolling the Yes on D campaign. But Marin says small business has to pinch pennies and that half-cents can really add up. He's already heard objections from some customers and knows there will be more.
"But let's talk about it, I'm all for that. Not going to get in a shouting match. Just want to talk about it," Marin said.
The next big business group to weigh in on Prop. D is the Downtown San Diego Partnership, with more than 1,000 members. Its directors will announce their stance a week before the election.