The stock market is in record high territory again and the economy keeps humming along. Memories of the 08/09 meltdown are somehow pushed further back into our memory banks. How long can this last?
Unemployment remains stingy and the number of employers looking to hire staff remains high. The question begging for an answer is where do they find employable hires with the basic skills to fill these jobs? California is the fifth largest economy in the world and despite all the press touting the exodus of employers from the Golden State the fact remains that California is indeed still the go-to place for young adults.
Reaching for and attaining the California dream for many though is just not a reality. Housing costs are at or near an all-time high. The cost of living in the Golden State has never been higher. The opportunity to find a job, own a home and raise a family in California are mounting and Sacramento is hell bent on making it even tougher.
Spending in Sacramento continues unabated. Our State legislators are apparently unaware of the toll their actions are taking on small businesses. The small and medium businesses of which Escondido is built on is under siege from the North. New laws and taxes emanating from Sacramento are hitting the small business owners particularly hard. And this coupled with consumer spending habits turning more and more to the gig economy for product and services is mounting a formidable blitzkrieg on small businesses.
The “Amazonation” of consumers is challenging our local economy. This is not a good thing. Buy local campaigns have drawn awareness to the issue but, are having minimal effect. Online buying is simple and easy, you don’t have to fight traffic, high gas prices, rude sales people or none at all. All of this convenience at what cost?
Escondido’s motto is “City of Choice” and we do have a choice to support our local businesses whenever possible.
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James Rowten (JR) is CEO of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce