City of Vista Steps Up to Support Businesses to Drive Economic Recovery
Economic recovery is vitally important to cities as they navigate the challenges of the ongoing health pandemic and resulting economic downturn. The City of Vista is providing businesses with the tools and resources they need to adjust to new ways of doing business and help their local economy recover.
One way they are doing this is by hosting a series of virtual workshops called “StandUp Vista Business” where local business owners can learn about state and federal financial resources, guidelines for reopening, and resources for employees.
“COVID-19 has created a shift in our economy, our business structure, and our daily lives,” said Vista Mayor Judy Ritter. “But with proper planning and strategic decision-making, Vista will rise to the challenge, will recover, and return to our previous successes.”
Over 100 small business owners have participated in these free workshops where they received important information from officials at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, and the California State Treasurer about how to safely re-open, acquire PPE, and navigate the paycheck protection and main street lending programs.
“The workshops provided the opportunity to learn outside of my area of expertise and I gained first-hand knowledge from the federal, state, and local officials,” said Mark Rouse, owner of Rouse Sign & Graphics. “They are a great idea and resource from the city of Vista.”
The city also provides Spanish translation for each of the workshops since half of the Vista community is Latino. For future workshop topics, the city’s Economic Development Director Kevin Ham says they are getting ideas from participants and proactively reaching out to the business community to learn about their issues of interest.
As businesses’ needs vary, the city has also taken a tailored approach to help them keep their doors open and safely serve clients and patrons.
“We are listening to our businesses and identifying how we can assist them," said Mayor Ritter. “What that may look like for each business differs; whether it’s training, using outdoor space for customers, temperature checks, Plexiglass between counters, or other needs. The long-term plan is to have measures in place to continue our economic successes and resilience in the “new normal” for our residents and businesses.”
As part of the city’s Economic Business Recovery Plan, the city launched a new Vista is Open
website to help local businesses advertise promotions and for residents to learn which local establishments are open for business. Posting and accessing deals is completely free for both local businesses and residents and 100 percent of the money residents spend online goes directly to local merchants.
The city’s magazine Our Vista
also featured inspiring stories of local businesses who creatively adapted to meet the needs of the community and highlighted ways residents can support local businesses.
The city’s “Vista Strong” mentality is the backbone of its efforts to support local businesses and residents during this challenging time.
The community is strong and resilient and “the city is well-equipped to handle what is ahead,” continued Ham. “These efforts, when well planned and executed, set a successful course for the future."
This story was featured in the CA Cities Advocate Newsletter on July 22, 2020.