With all of the disruption to our daily lives caused by the Coronavirus, it’s easy to forget history. After all, history won’t pay the mortgage. But, a quick reminder of where we came from just a short six months ago is quite revealing and possibly a look into what can once again be the norm. It, of course,
will take time, but after all, the wheels came off so quickly, isn’t it possible for the recovery to be just as quick?
Retail is beginning to reopen. The North County mall is opening this Friday. Restaurants, one of the more visible parts of our local economy, is dealing with the gradual reopening challenges.
Restaurants are down by over 65% as an industry here in North County. Some of these businesses will never regain their market share. Locals who held jobs at some of these businesses do not have jobs to go back to. Tourism,
which is part of our local economy, is going to take a significant amount of time to recover. Think possibly 1-2 years. This is reality, and we must do whatever we can to support local businesses. I’ve written about this before. Before this Covid-19 pandemic, I warned about the proliferation of online shopping and specifically Amazon and the effect it has on local communities. And now, online shopping has gained many new customers forced to buy online.
Ok, this is the reality we now have to deal with but, it’s not all doom and gloom. Some industries have weathered this challenge relatively well and in fact have not felt the full impact of Covid-19. Consumer confidence has held up relatively well; mortgage applications and refinancing has continued to see robust activity. The construction industry has held steady. Home Depot, Lowe’s and Costco have seen increased shopping as consumers are ready to get back to normal.
What does this mean for all of us? It means we all must remain vigilant and responsibly begin to shop locally and bring their dollars back to local Escondido businesses. Local, local, local or hyper-local must be our focus.
Escondido can lead the way by thinking local and supporting local first. It’s time for all us to adjust our thinking and work together to preserve and build on the future of Escondido.
Tomorrow is here, and it is time to act.
Join the Chamber and get involved.
James Rowten (JR)