North County leaders gathered in a virtual meeting on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of reopening some local businesses as soon as possible.
Mayors from Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Marcos, Escondido and Vista and San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond are calling for some non-essential businesses and recreational activities to reopen in the near future. Initially, they championed for non-essential businesses to reopen on Friday but after Tuesday's meeting, they're hoping to get support from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors at their next meeting on May 5.
Eager to get local economies back up and running, officials are putting pressure on state politicians to ease orders on non-essential businesses.
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Desmond said he wants to see restaurants, salons and big-box retailers open soon under sanitary guidelines so residents can begin earning money again for their wellbeing.
“This is not jobs. This is about the thousands and thousands of people that are out of work," he said.
The motion cannot begin until Gov. Gavin Newsom approves non-essential businesses to work beyond its limited guidelines and there must also be a majority vote by the county's Board of Supervisors.
Although the ultimate decision to reopen businesses is up to Gov. Gavin Newsom, North County officials say it’s time to get back to business in a safe and sanitary matter.
The coronavirus’ grip on the economy has endangered small businesses and led to thousands of jobs lost nationwide.
Desmond said if non-essential businesses were to open, they would practice the same health and safety procedures adopted by essential businesses that are currently open.
One San Marcos business owner is already envisioning how he would operate his business if they are given the green light to open past takeout and delivery orders.
“What I’m thinking is putting barriers between the tables so that other people can eat without problems," said Oscar Garcia, owner of Su Pan Bakery in San Marcos. "Not touching other families or anything like that.”