North County cities join forces to help businesses

Posted at 5:19 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 21:24:44-04

SAN MARCOS, Calif. (KGTV) — Dos Desperados brewing in San Marcos was headed for a banner year until the coronavirus outbreak hit.

"We had all of our vats full and of course we had to shut down," said owner Steve Munson. "It's not a killer yet, We're trying to survive until the end of the year."

Sales plummeted in the tasting room and distribution. Munson had to cut his staff of eight to two, even letting his own daughter go. It got even more complicated in early July, when the governor eliminated indoor service for bars and restaurants.

But when Munson approached the City of San Marcos to get an outdoor permit, he says it went lightning-quick, something Munson never expected.

San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones says it happened fast because the city already had the framework in place to streamline outdoor permits, with no fees. The city actually approved it in late May. Jones credits Innovate 78, a collaborative effort between the five cities that line the 78: San Marcos, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Escondido, and Vista. They've been working together on the economy for years.

"If you are not looking forward to what could happen next, you're not really planning," Jones said. "So we try to plan for the unknown, and I really believe that has come from COVID."

Innovate 78 now plans to send a letter to Gov. Newsom seeking next steps for businesses now that San Diego County is off the state's watch list.