NewsLocal News


Shop & Dine La Mesa hopes to highlight small businesses in community

Pilot event funded by American Rescue Plan money from County.
Posted at 7:07 AM, May 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-22 10:07:38-04

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) – The ringing of a service bell or boxes being broken down and assembled; are the many sounds of business in action.

"There's fewer and fewer small businesses in La Mesa,” Dani Jo Fiandaca, the owner of She's The Shipper, said.

But running a small business isn't easy.

"We need all of the help we can get. It cost a lot of money to run a small business like this. I'm the sole proprietor. I do all of this by myself,” Fiandaca said.

"I know it's been a challenge for everyone; not just for us. But I guess we're all here for a purpose. You just got to do the best you can; hold on,” George Alvarez, the owner of Los Pinos Taco Shop, said.

La Mesa's business community has been holding on and facing quite a few challenges in the last two years.

"Not only did my business community have to suffer through COVID, the riots; we had that National Guard here,” Mary England, President & CEO of La Mesa Chamber Of Commerce, said.

Those riots in the summer of 2020 were in response to George Floyd’s murder and local allegations of police misconduct.

Some businesses were vandalized and burglarized.

Now, more is being done to help businesses throughout the city.

The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce is looking to help more of the business community burst onto the scene with Shop & Dine La Mesa.

It recently secured American Rescue Plan funding from the county to hold this pilot event to highlight businesses that feel they're often overlooked by potential shoppers.

"I think that it's important that when we shop - we always hear shop local - but we also want people to shop throughout the region,” England said. “Because they're a lot like this shopping center for instance. Some of the people don't know what they offer and that was part of this project."

Whether it's rising from the ashes or still plugging away each day, some owners are glad to get buzz and sizzle toward their business.

"Thank you. That's exactly what goes through my head. Because it's the foundation of where we all come from,” Fiandaca said.

“Without the support of the Chamber of Commerce, we don't have a foundation for us to all fall back on or rely on."